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Focus Determines Direction

Sunday, August 11, 2013

Focus Determines Direction
By Rachel Olsen

"Let us fix our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy set before him endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God." Hebrews 12:2 (NIV 1984)

Focus is an interesting thing. A powerful thing. I believe it makes change possible.

I live in in North Carolina - home to NASCAR. I even drove a stock car once in a qualifying race at the Franklin County Speedway. So I've talked to a few race car drivers in my time. Here's what I learned from them: You have to focus on where you want to go.

Race cars move so fast that the slightest change in course - the slightest turn of the wheel - quickly produces big changes in your position on that track. Surprisingly, where you look can shift your body enough to turn the wheel just enough to send you in that direction. Even if that wasn't where you intended to go.

In other words, your focus determines your direction.

That's why race car drivers are taught never to look at the wall. Look at the wall and that is where you will end up - crashed.

I think that's also why the Bible spends so much time teaching us to keep our eyes on Christ. Because our focus determines our direction.

Do you recall the story of Peter when he saw Jesus walking on the water in Matthew 14:29? Peter climbed out of the boat and walked on the waves. As long as he focused on Jesus, he walked toward Him on the water. But as soon as Peter looked down at the wind-whipped waves beneath him, that's precisely where he ended up.

I wonder if our typical New Year's Resolutions aren't us looking at the wall, or down at the sea instead of us focusing on Christ. We make promises like "I'm going to lose weight," or "I'm going to get more organized." (I've made both those resolutions before.) Or maybe, "I'm going to stop this affair." And then our focus is on our weight, the mess, or the forbidden fruit.

Next thing we know, although it's not where we intended to go, we're sinking in calories or clutter once again. And we feel defeated. Crashed. Then we give up.

Thankfully, I've found a new way to do New Year's Resolutions that keeps me properly focused. Instead of making my long list of ways I plan to improve, I prayerfully choose just one word to be my focus for the entire year. Just one word that represents what I most hope Christ will do in or through me that year. One word to give me direction.

It's not a regret-based word but a vision-driven word centering on the kind of person I want to become. It keeps me looking forward and upward.

I pray that word, meditate on it, memorize verses with it, and use it to remind me to keep my eyes on Christ, trusting Him for transformation in that area of my life. And I've seen transformation take place! ( I chose the word Mercy)

Reading Hebrews 12:2 reminds us to take our eyes off ourselves and our circumstances - off the problem behaviors or the "walls" in our lives—and fix them squarely on Christ. Because our focus determines our direction.

Ultimately Christ is the perfecter of us and our faith. We can trust Him to turn our resolution into reality as we stay focused with our one word and with our eyes on Him.

Dear Lord, I want to fix my eyes squarely on You today. Help me see You at work in my life and in the forming of my heart. In Jesus' Name, Amen.

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Member Comments About This Blog Post
  • JUDITH316
    Annabelle, this is so lovely, the scriptures, pictures, thanks for sharing, I didn't know you had driven a race car until reading this blog, wow, that is so cool, and brave... emoticon
    1730 days ago
    I loved how you shared that concept! emoticon emoticon
    1777 days ago
    I really enjoyed this.
    1777 days ago
    Thank you for sharing this blog. I am going to focus on the one word Leader because I have submitted my request to be the new leader of Prayer Walking for Abundant Life. I am taking a big step to take this challenge. Please continue your beautiful blogs and support to this team. I would appreciate your sharing thoughts under the topic Time to get ACTIVE. You are a beautiful Christian and I thank you for sharing thoughts on how to live life better.
    1777 days ago
    i agree to focus on a word
    we give life to our words !! yes we do !!! I love mercy .

    one word hummmmmmmmmm I will take your advice from the heavens
    i will chose PRAY I need to focus on praying more.
    thank you this is a divine appointment for me
    God bless & your beautiful pictures that are amazing . emoticon
    1777 days ago
    Beautiful. Thanks for sharing this lovely blog with us.
    1777 days ago
    Great blog! Focus on Christ and life will hold joy and peace. Can't get much better than that! emoticon emoticon
    1778 days ago
    I have learned this one word focus for the year and implemented it - I love the focus that it gives me. This blog is chock full of truth and inspiration - things that I know and have learned. Things I have posted in bits and pieces in my journal; but this pulls them all together in one place. Thank you for sharing
    1778 days ago

    Comment edited on: 8/11/2013 7:41:05 AM
    Beautiful. emoticon
    1778 days ago
    emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon
    1778 days ago
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