A Time to Refocus
by: Ellene Meece
I love fresh starts: clean calendars, unmarked notebooks, a new year, all waiting to be filled with the promise of good things. To me, January represents an unspoken time marker to de-clutter and begin again. It is a time to restate my goals and brush off my dreams, to get my office in order and organize my files, to evaluate my true priorities and set my focus again for the year ahead. It is a time to look away from all that will distract to Jesus - my faithful Leader through this 365-day maze of my life and beyond.
How can we refocus our lives on the prize set before us?
The first three verses of Hebrews 12 in the Amplified map out a plan that is powerful in the art of refocusing.
Hebrews 12:1-3, "Therefore then, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses [who have borne testimony to the Truth], let us strip off and throw aside every encumbrance (unnecessary weight) and that sin which so readily (deftly and cleverly) clings to and entangles us, and let us run with patient endurance and steady and active persistence the appointed course of the race that is set before us, looking away [from all that will distract] to Jesus, Who is the Leader and the Source of our faith [giving the first incentive for our belief] and is also its Finisher [bringing it to maturity and perfection]. He, for the joy [of obtaining the prize] that was set before Him, endured the cross, despising and ignoring the shame, and is now seated at the right hand of the throne of God. [Ps. 110:1] Just think of Him Who endured from sinners such grievous opposition and bitter hostility against Himself [reckon up and consider it all in comparison with your trials], so that you may not grow weary or exhausted, losing heart and relaxing and fainting in your minds."
- Remember those who have accomplished their life vision, who have gone on before us.
- Look away from all that will distract - eliminate the time wasters.
- Embrace our Source of faith, strength and power
- Get rid of self pity
It is very important to have a vision of where we want to be and how we will accomplish those goals. One tool we can take advantage of when painting a vision is to review and absorb the biographies of those "who have borne testimony to the Truth," who have gone before us - that great cloud of witnesses to the fact that we can live our dreams and callings.
Many times, these witnesses who have written their faith and stories are still with us and haven't yet joined the "cloud." This is true of mine: T.L. (Tommy Lee) Osborne, a gentle soul who found his focus and has learned how to take care of his earth suit so he could spend years and years sharing the good news that God is good, and who is still making a difference in this earth. In fact, as of this writing, he was entering comments on his blog and Facebook at 87 years of age! I love that kind of person, rich in decades of God adventures and still full of energy and immersed in today's technology to reach even more people with the gospel.
The scripture says, "Looking away [from all that will distract] to Jesus..." To demonstrate the power of looking away, I've found a physical exercise of literally turning my body to send a big message to my brain and belief system of my own intentions. Try it!
Write down the 'cares, burdens and time wasters' of your life on a piece of paper or poster board and then write the name "Jesus" on another, placing them at opposite ends of the room. Then, physically demonstrate your decision to where you want to focus by turning your body to fully face your choice. I hope you choose Jesus because He can help you unravel and throw aside those pesky time wasters that bear down on your soul and drain your energy away from His calling on your life.
I might add: Repeat this exercise as often as needed!
Recently, my husband, David, spoke for a large church group of 30-somethings on the opportunity of embracing Life vs. Human Reasoning. He presented the opportunity of embracing faith and something bigger than ourselves in exchange for human reasoning that shrinks our world into a circle of starting and ending with me, where everything is based on what I learn, the knowledge I acquire, the facts I can defend, etc.
It is true for all of us. We have the choice of expanding our world by embracing Jesus, our Leader, by faith - as the Source of our strength, energy, resilience and hope. Just think! We can embrace the One Who still holds mysteries and unexplainable truths and trust Him to bring everything to fulfillment. Or we can choose to live in a small circle with ourselves and small-thinking peers, whose lives start and end with "me."
As David urged that group: Choose Life!
Get rid of...
Get rid of self pity! What an energy zapper! When verse three says to "Just think of Him...consider it all in comparison with your trials, so that you may not grow weary or exhausted, losing heart and relaxing and fainting in your minds...," it is telling us if we wallow in our troubles and think we have it worse than anyone in history, we grow weary and lose heart.
Want to get an energy boost? Dump the temptation to think about yourself and just think of Him. Meditate on His love and plan for you. Marvel at His power to fulfill His words in your life. Cling to the promise of the prize set before those who focus and persevere.
Refocus to enjoy the prize of Life inside of Christ now and forever!
Ellene Meece lives in Meeker, Colorado and works with her husband in their natural resource company while running her own online store, http://www.Grandmastreasuresonline.com. Currently, she oversees the marketing for the FMIN Workplace Leaders Network.
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