You will keep him in perfect peace, whose mind is stayed on You, because he trusts in You.

Isaiah 26:3

Several months ago, I had to be the proctor for a four hour long test. Now, I do not know if you’ve ever had to sit in a cold classroom with middle schoolers with no distractions for an extended period of time, but I am sure you can imagine how boring it is. As time crept on, I tried to keep my mind as occupied as possible. At one point, I was reading all of the infographics on the wall, refreshing my mind on the judicial process and at other times thinking about how badly I needed to repaint my nails. The silence seemed deafening to me as I tried not to make a move to disrupt anyone. 

Half way through the test, I shifted my eyes to the clock on the wall. I started counting forward to see how much longer I had to sit there. Then I realized, the clock was ticking and it was ticking loudly. It hit me that the clock and been ticking loudly the whole time, but I had not even noticed it. The ticking noise began to bother me. I started to try to occupy my mind with other things so that it would distract me from the ticking noise again, but I could not shake the sound. 

In that moment, it struck me, what we shift our focus to becomes the loudest thing in our lives

I know the clock example is silly, but it is so accurate for me. I find myself in situations where I feel so overwhelmed and almost every single time it is because my focus as shifted. Instead of focusing on the strength of the Lord, I find that I have been trying to utilize my own strength. Instead of trusting that the Lord is in control, I feel the need to fix the situation. Instead of resting in the grace of the Lord, I feel the need to clean myself up. 

When I am focused on my own needs and goals, it is really hard to see the needs of others. When I am focused on all the hurt that I have experienced, it is really hard for me to extend grace. When I make worldly distractions my priority, it is really hard for me to spend time focused on the things that matter. When I fill my life with activities and use being busy as a distraction, it is really hard for me to make time for the Lord. 

It is so easy to look to other things, and a lot of times it is really hard to pinpoint what we are focused on. However, I know that when I feel myself spiraling, my self-assessment almost always reveal that have shifted my focus away from what truly matters. 

Right now we are living in a really noisy world. There are a lot of things vying for our attention. These things are all so unsettling and overwhelming. However, I know that as long as we are focused on the problems happening around us and to us, we cannot truly rest in the fullness of Christ. God gives us Himself every single day, we must fix our eyes on him and rest in HIs promises. He never fails. 

“Turn your eyes upon Jesus

Look full, in his wonderful face

And the things of earth will grow strangely dim

In the light of his glory and grace”

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