Monday, December 28, 2015

Life out of Focus - Martin Wiles

But when he saw the strong wind and the waves, he was terrified and began to sink. “Save me, Lord!” he shouted. Matthew 14:30 NLT

I’m been known to miss what I focus on—even when it’s a large target. 

I had always hunted deer with dogs and a shotgun. Stand on the side of the road or the edge of the woods and wait for the dogs to run the deer to me…then shoot. Then I moved by a friend who liked to still hunt. Climb a tree, sit in a stand, and chance that deer might actually walk where I was sitting. For this, a rifle worked better. 

After purchasing a rifle at a local retail store, I set out for my first adventure. About dusk, a herd of deer walked out of the woods about 200 yards from me. I carefully raised my rife, zeroed in on a buck, and squeezed the trigger. The rifle fired; the deer didn’t move. Strange, I thought. When this had happened twice, I figured I should check my scope. Sure enough, the rifle was shooting about 20 feet above where I was aiming. 

For Peter, it wasn’t a rifle. He and the other disciples were fighting a storm in the middle of the Sea of Galilee. Jesus suddenly appeared, walking on the water. Peter wanted to try it too, and Jesus gave him permission. He did fine until he noticed the raging waves pounding his ankles. When he focused on them, he sank. 

At the end of the day, a faulty scope and rough water are small things compared to other things that can steal my focus from serving God faithfully and loving him unconditionally. Perhaps the major focus stealer for most is the busyness of life. Work, relationships, hobbies, children, school, homework, community affairs. None of which are sinful, but all of which can rob me of life’s true joy. 

Taking time to ponder my daily lifestyle can reveal my life priorities. The results can be revealing…and shocking. When they’re out of whack, they steal my focus. 

Step back and take a look at your life. Let God show you what might be out of focus. 

Prayer: Father, focus us on the exact plan and purpose You have for our lives. 

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