Posted by: pastordarren | October 6, 2011

Focus

There have been times when I have sat before a large picture or movie screen.  The bigger the picture, the harder it is to take it all in and the easier it is to be distracted by all that is on the screen.  Have you ever seen a picture where only one area is in focus?  Our eyes are drawn to that area or part of the image.  Many times that is done for just that reason to put the observer’s attention on something the photographer specifically wants us to see.

Many times life can be like the big pictures with a lot of worries and distractions.  There is so much calling our attention from what is important, that we get overwhelmed and the whole of life then gets blurry as we struggle to bring focus back.

Similar things happen in the life of the church.  There is so much activity that our heads spin, so much worry over shrinking attendance, money, membership, etc. that again, our focus is pulled from where it should be at.

In the text for this week, Philippians 4:4-9, Paul gives both the church and individuals a reminder of where we need to focus to begin to cut through the haze.  The first is prayer.  Paul says that instead of worrying about the future, pray.  How often do we worry, fear, debate, plot and plan about the problems in the church, yet don’t pray about them?  How often do we worry about our own situation and family yet don’t pray about it?  I don’t think this is the once in a while quick prayer, but really bringing it before God faithfully, as a congregation or group or family on an ongoing basis.  Paul says that when we pray in this way, “peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.”  Completely the opposite of worry and fear.

The second foci is where we focus our minds.  “Whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things.”  Paul tells us where to put our thoughts.  We don’t forget about the problems, we don’t stop working and doing what we can to take care of the different issues but because of the prayer and the peace, we can focus on the good stuff above the other distracting things.  There are things in our lives and the life of the church that if we dwell on them, will pull us down and lead to more worry and fear.

Each of us has the opportunity to focus on certain things.  Our churches have the opportunities to focus on issues from a worldly or spiritual point of view.  It is our choice on what we do.

Where is your focus today?

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