I have a lot to do today. A lot of odds and ends–phone calls and appointments to make, follow-ups on work and school activities, straightening after a weekend of ignoring household duties. All these duties are causing me to feel a bit flustered in my head and frozen on the couch, unable to sort everything out and make a go of any of it. From past experience (read: from doing it the wrong way over and over until I learned a bit of a lesson) I know that my day would continue on like this unless I pause and pray and “get God in there.” So I forced myself to pick up some books and start reading, getting out of my head and listening to what God might have to say to me.
I read a couple entries in my usual books and then one in a book I started reading again after a 14-year respite. It’s called “Jesus Life coach” by Laura Beth Jones. Every chapter starts off with the phrase, “With Jesus as your Life Coach you will…”. On this particular day’s reading it said that I would “Keep My Focus.” Well, that would certainly be helpful on this fine, snowy, scatter-brained Monday morning. Jones is a motivational writer and speaker, so her main point is about finding that one thing that keeps you going and eliminating all distractions that prevent you from staying on task and being successful. She uses Jesus’ laser-like focus on his mission, ya know, to save the planet, as motivation for us to also stay focused on what we are called to do or be in this life.
I am not arguing with her, since most organizations sink or swim based on knowing what their one thing is. But as a woman who is, at best, average at most endeavors, I have always struggled to identify my one thing. I am the quintessential “jack-of-all-trades, master of none.”
I moved on to my next reading by author Sarah Young, who writes using God’s words to us from scripture. And, I kid you not, this was her opening sentence for January 29th: KEEP YOUR FOCUS ON ME (caps all hers)…let the goal of this day be to bring every thought captive to me…I will guard you and keep you in constant peace as you focus your mind on me.”
Bless God’s heart. He knows I don’t have it in me to read between the lines today. He had to repeat himself and capitalize it. Lucky for me, and maybe you, I didn’t miss the point. At least this was the point I believe he was making for me: His will for me and for my life IS the “one thing.” It overrides every other venture, goal or practice.
Think back on your life thus far. You have had gone down multiple paths that took large amounts of your time and energy and passion. Most of them were probably very good things. But we are, by nature, continuously changing and morphing. What used to light your fire just doesn’t do it for you anymore. That’s ok. It’s meant to be that way. So to hang your sign on any one door is unreasonable. There’s an ebb and flow to life that needs to be leaned in to.
There is only one constant. One over-arching awareness that must influence our every thought: God’s will for us and the power to carry that out. It must infiltrate every nook and cranny of our lives. Sometimes we have to discern His will for us in some pretty serious ways. But what I have found is that most days I just have to live out his will for me in all the tiny, seemingly insignificant encounters of my day. How did I react to the snippy sales clerk? Did I let that rude driver steal my serenity? Did my car breaking down cause me to question God’s love for me? And what about in our relationships? Did I respond with compassion toward my discouraged teenager? Did I reach out to the friend who lost her job? Her husband? Her identity? Did I make a phone call to someone I know who is depressed or discouraged?
In the midst of all my muddled striving to make a big difference in this world, my consistent focus on God and seeking his will for me must be crystal clear. What I accomplish in this world is significant, but also temporary and fleeting. My primary purpose, my one thing, is to let God’s Will for me totally dominate (rule, govern, direct, be in the driver’s seat, be at the helm of, rule the roost, wear the pants 😉).