• Gathered Under Grace


Focus. Focus can be a good thing and a bad thing. Life surrounds us. The world has so much in it that strives to take our focus. We suffer loss, we experience conflict, injuries occur. We get bewildered and circumstances overwhelm us. The lovely and beautiful has the potential to drag our focus as easily as pain and loss. A new job, a new baby or a new home can circumvent our focus.

You can focus on a specific job and see it through to completion. You can successfully focus on your family and your home. Or… something shiny comes along and your focus is quickly shifted off what just had your attention. Then there is the other end of the spectrum of focus. Focusing on everything that is in your potential viewpoint that you are unable to see what’s right in front of you. Then there is lack of focus. You need bifocals just to see the road, when they were intended to help you read the signs. You can see so much that needs your attention that you decide that there isn’t any point in starting at all. Focusing on a narrow or a broad point without being able to see what surrounds you.

Focused. Out of focus. Over focused. Unfocused. Myopic.


Philippians 3: 12-15 MSG

“I’m not saying that I have this all together, that I have it made. But I am well on my way, reaching out for Christ, who has so wondrously reached out for me. Friends, don’t get me wrong: By no means do I count myself an expert in all of this, but I’ve got my eye on the goal, where God is beckoning us onward—to Jesus. I’m off and running, and I’m not turning back. So let’s keep focused on that goal, those of us who want everything God has for us. If any of you have something else in mind, something less than total commitment, God will clear your blurred vision—you’ll see it yet! Now that we’re on the right track, let’s stay on it.”

We have this building at our home we call ‘the barn’. When it was completed it was intended to be an open work room for crafts, wood working, car maintenance and tool storage. Right now, it is so full of stuff; our stuff and our families stuff that you can hardly walk around. It overwhelms us. We make plans to begin a culling and something happens and it is pushed to the back burner. Our recent hurricane has brought it back into focus. We needed the room to store our important items but there was so much stuff that there was barely enough room. The barn is now in my cross hairs. It is in my focus. As a family, we have discussed the issues that overwhelms us at the task ahead and have decided to empty the barn of items that have lost their usefulness ‘one item at a time’. Not a huge undertaking but a priority to take at least one item each week to a new home or to the curb. Not a giant list that you add to everyday that takes on a life of its own with no end in sight. Focus with a plan. Hallelujah! A plan with a purpose. Not something that is out of reach but easily accessible. When we are out of focus it can steal our time and our promise, our capacity to see what is right in front of us. Our calendars become so full of events, practices and programs that quiet time with God and family become routine, rushed or completely forgotten. When you can take your focus off all the stuff that distracts you it doesn’t have the power to overwhelm.

God focused on us from the beginning of time. I’m not talking about us, humanity in general. I’m talking about you. You, the individual person created as a single masterpiece and given special gifts and free will. God is able to focus on you! God loves to focus on you! God loves it when you focus on Him. Take the situation, the circumstance, the decision to God and WAIT! There is that word again. Waiting is hard, but being out of focus is harder. Wait for God and He will show you the way out. When you can’t see the forest for the trees, stop and wait. God will show you the most beautiful tree in the forest.

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