After lunch each day, I listen to an audio version of the Bible. This past Monday, a few verses from Proverbs jumped out at me. I have been struggling with what to focus on this fall, as the uncertainty of our world continues. I hope they are an encouragement to you too.
25 Let your eyes look straight ahead;
fix your gaze directly before you.
26 Give careful thought to the paths for your feet
And be steadfast in all your ways,
27 Do not turn to the right or the left;
Keep your feet from evil.
Proverbs 4:25-27 New International Version
I don’t know about you, but I have found it very easy to get distracted with things that are not all that important. I think that is why I perked up when I heard the first sentence “Let your eyes look straight ahead;” That idea brought a sense of calm to me. It was a reminder that I don’t have to have my head on a swivel, in fact, looking straight ahead is good and feels right. As I sat out on my deck listening, I literally looked straight out in front of me.
As I heard the next verse “fix your gaze directly before you” I did exactly that. I tilted my head down and looked five or so feet in front of me. It reminded me that even though I want to make plans for the future, it is good sometimes to give full attention to what or who is right in front of me.
“Give careful thought to the paths for your feet” because distraction will come and try to move our focus elsewhere. It does take careful thought to stay on track...on the right path.
“And be steadfast in all your ways.” I looked up the word steadfast and it said unwavering. I don’t know about you, but I can tend to waver depending on my mood for a particular day.
“Do not turn to the right or the left.” We are to stay focused regardless of how we feel and what comes our way.
“Keep your feet from evil.” Stay focused on what is good and right.
After I finished listening for the day, I walked back to my office to get back to work. I sat down with my calendar and asked myself what I should stay focused on. What is right in front of me that should get my attention? In the process, I planned out my next few weeks with purpose and pushed all the other “stuff” out of my mind and off my calendar. It felt really good to bring that focus to my day and life.
What is straight in front of you that should get your focus? What can you do to stay on that path and not get distracted? What is the right and best thing for you and your family right now?
Spending time thinking about these questions will bring focus in the midst of much uncertainty.
My daily walk with Jesus: I need continual reminders throughout my day to focus on God and His ways. I just recently read a book about the monastic way of life and those that follow it fill their day with scripture, prayer and singing the Psalms. They live a beautiful, focused and simple life. Following their example I start my day by listening to a few God focused songs as I eat my breakfast. I pray the Lord’s prayer as I walk and pray for family and friends. After my walk I take a short time to read the Bible and a daily devotion. I just recently started listening to the audio Bible for fifteen minutes after lunch, and I end my day thanking God for my day. I tell you this because I used to think it was not possible to focus this much on God during my day, but it is. It is good and it is right.