When your day is out of focus

devotional focus loving jesus Sep 04, 2019

I wrote this piece almost nine years ago. I pulled it up with the intent of refreshing and updating it, but I couldn’t bring myself to touch it. The message hit home for me just as it is, and I hope it does for you too.


And Peter got out of the boat, and walked on the water and came toward Jesus. But seeing the wind, he became frightened, and beginning to sink, he cried out, “Lord, save me!” –Matthew 14:29-30


regaining focus


Focus. How interesting that this is the topic on my mind. I actually started to write this entry an hour ago, but then realized that I was trying to make so many different points that the article itself was completely without focus. Maybe that is why it’s at the forefront of my mind—I’m feeling rather unfocused today.

It all started this morning. I am currently reading through my Bible, cover-to-cover. It’s a Bible-in-a-year program that I started when I was pregnant with my almost-three-year-old daughter. (Think about that for a minute, and you’ll get it…) J I am now reading the book of John. Now, in order for you to fully understand what happened this morning, I have to give you a little bit of background on myself… Not only did I grow up in a Christian home and a strong, Bible-preaching church, I was also in a wonderful program called Bible quizzing for six years. During that time I memorized (among other books) three of the four gospels—Matthew, Mark, and John. Although that was years ago, and I cannot even begin to claim to have them memorized now, the passages are still quite familiar. Sometimes too familiar. So this morning I read my requisite passage in John, closed my Bible, and got up to take a shower… and then I thought, “Wait, what did I just read?” The passage was so familiar to me that I had literally skimmed it with my eyes, all the while thinking about what the kids would wear to church, what we would do this afternoon, what was on my schedule for the week. I wasn’t focused, I was just fulfilling an obligation.

But here’s the real issue: If I’m unfocused then, first thing in the morning while the rest of my family is asleep and my house is quiet, when there are no other distractions and no one else is vying for my attention… how can I be focused on Christ when my daughter spills her water and my son is overdue for a nap and the dog got out of the house and the phone is ringing and we’re late for church and… you know the drill. If I am not paying attention to what God is saying when we’re talking one-on-one, will I, like Peter, get distracted from Him when the storms come?

It can be quite embarrassing to be in the middle of a conversation and say, “I’m so sorry, but I have no idea what you just said. Could you repeat that for me?” But sometimes we need that little admission to force us to refocus… and oh, the benefits that can come from hearing what was spoken! If you’re distracted today, if your mind is wandering away from the important and onto minutiae, if you’re looking at the size of the waves instead of to the One who made the water and the wind… take a moment to stop. Tell the Lord, “I’m so sorry, but I have no idea what You’ve been saying to me. Can You repeat that?” Focus completely on Christ, and let Him worry about the periphery.

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