I love the autofocus feature on my camera. I know serious photographers will cringe when they read that, but I’m not a serious photographer, and I can remember the days before “point and shoot” cameras existed. I can also remember getting my photos back from the local drive up Fotomat, only to find that most of them were out of focus, or at times, focused on the wrong thing! So, I’m glad my camera does the focusing work for me. I just wish my heart had autofocus too. Like my old camera, it frequently loses focus or even focuses on the wrong things! On a daily basis, I must intentionally and diligently keep my heart from distorting reality or losing perspective. That’s why I’m deeply grateful that I’ve been able to take a sabbatical with my family at Hume Lake this fall. It has been a wonderful time to disconnect from the demands of my life “down the hill” and refocus my easily unfocused heart. To accomplish this, I have had to work hard at resisting my incessant need to feel like I’m being productive. This means I’m usually trying to accomplish some kind of input to make me a better man, or output to be a blessing to others. God wants us to be growing, and investing in others, but he wants us to do those things with our eyes fixed on what really matters. I have sought to do these 5 things in my quest to refocus this fall:
We are finite creatures that work best when we realize that and make room in our lives for naps, and sitting by a Lake, or a camp fire—just looking around.
When you read the Bible, there is nothing more obvious about human nature than that we are forgetful, and that we need constant reminders about who God is and what really matters from his perspective. Lingering in his word, spending time with people who point me to Christ, and God centered worship, are indispensable for an eternal perspective.
It’s not enough to intellectually know facts about God and his ways, we need to mediate on them, and mull them over, so as the Spirit works, they sink more deeply into our hearts.
Using our bodies to play games, hike, ride bikes, swim, climb trees, and just get out in God’s beautiful creation reminds that God is great and we are his children who are created to play in the world he made for us to enjoy.
When I see the ways my priorities, perspective, or motives have become distorted, distracted, or idolatrous, I have asked God to give me a new resolve and the grace to turn away from that way of living and walk in a manner worth of the gospel.
My ultimate prayer and goal is to refocus and fix my eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of our faith.