I am not the biggest fan of walking my dog on winding-curvy roads. Unfortunately, that is the exact type of road Jared and I live on: a winding, curvy, HILLY road. Every time we come to a bend in the road, Lucy immediately starts to walk a little faster and pull a little harder to get around the curve. She’s anxious to see if there will be deer in the clearing or a squirrel in the road that she can stalk and sniff. Sadly, most of the time, there is no deer or squirrel. But it never fails that every time we get to a curve, she’s still anticipating what she may see.
This is how I can be with life at times. Life takes a turn, and instead of looking at what is happening in the curve, I’m anxiously waiting to see what’s around the bend. I’m so attentive to what lies ahead that a lot of the times, I miss what’s happening right next to me. This year, I have decided not to make a resolution. Instead, I’ve decided to give 2018 a word to adhere to, to hone in on. My word for 2018 is Focus.
Why this word? Well, first, we need to look at what this word means. The verb usage of the word means “to pay particular attention to.” It means to forget about all other things going on around you, to bring your attention to this particular incident, this particular situation, this particular circumstance. So what am I going to be paying particular attention to? The present. I’m focusing on the present. I’m focusing on the opportunities God has gifted me with today. I’m focusing on the people around me in my life now. I’m focusing on the work God has provided in this moment.
Jared teases me sometimes because he says I can jump 100 feet ahead in my head when in reality I haven’t even decided to jump yet. I’m so future-minded at times and thinking about all the possibilities of tomorrow. Usually, this means I miss the possibilities of today. God hasn’t gifted me with tomorrow yet. He’s gifted me with today. Proverbs 27:1 says, “Do not boast about tomorrow, for you do not know what a day may bring.” (ESV) I don’t know if tomorrow will come or what that day has in store. I am only given what I have in this moment.
Maybe your focus isn’t on the future or the present, yours may be on the past. You’ve made mistakes you can’t move away from. You have regrets you can’t shake. I hate to be the bearer of bad news, but you cannot change your past. Focusing on things that have already been done will not fix them in the now. This is a hard lesson I still have to learn on a regular basis. But scripture tells us in Matthew 11: 28-30 “Come to me, all who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn from me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.” (ESV) Give the hurt, the regret, the pain to God. He’s bigger than those mistakes you’ve made. And focus on your present opportunities God has gifted you with today.
This year, I challenge you to focus on your today. Focus on your moment that God has gifted you with now. When life gets hectic, as it always does, take time to focus on the Lord and what He has in store for you. You haven’t been gifted with anything but the present.
What other resolutions or commitments are you making this year? Let me know below. Have a Happy New Year!