Saturday, December 01, 2012

Where is Your Focus?

By Brenda Boen
December 1, 2012

The rush is on!  The rush to shop for all those presents, the rush to get the house clean to get the tree and decorations up, the rush to finalize the year end reports and the dreaded New Year’s resolutions on how we are going to make next year different.  Feeling any pressure?  During all the hustle and bustle how many times do you stop to reflect and keep your focus on what is important?  I was told several years ago to “keep the main thing, the main thing.”  What is the main thing for you?  If you could turn off the entire world and sit in quiet for a moment what would you reflect on?

My husband has Stage 4 Cancer.  This past year has been a hustle and bustle of surgeries, chemo treatments, endless tests and doctor appointments.  We’ve had the conversations about “what if” and “when” and taking care of needed things. We’ve had to deal with the financial burdens and stress of a mountain of medical bills as well.  At first we didn’t focus too much on the future because there simply wasn’t time between keeping up with appointments and treatments.  Then there was the not feeling good and the caregiving and the unknown.  But as my husband’s body began to recover from the initial shock of everything that had been thrown at it, we were able to settle in and look forward to each day. 

My husband remarked that cancer was just a bump in the road of life.  I replied that it was more like a pot hole.  But all during everything we both commonly remark that God is still in control.  He did not give Paul cancer but has allowed it in his life.  We don’t always understand everything but we know that God is always with us through it all.  And as we have experienced, life is precious, every moment. 

So, even throughout all we have been going through, we have kept the main thing the main thing.  What is the main thing?  It’s our focus on our relationship with God.  It is paramount to our existence and our being.  Without God, life doesn’t make sense.  We certainly have had many opportunities to question God and we could have cursed Him as well.  But we haven’t.  God hasn’t changed and He hasn’t done this to punish us.  If anything, this experience has grown us closer to God and made us realize that all the hustle and bustle of life is just blowing in the wind as Solomon put it.  What matters is how we relate to God and to other people.  It’s not being successful in business or accumulating things or being better than others.  When it’s all over all that matters is your relationship to God, the One who created you in the first place to have a relationship with Him.  And oh, what a sweet loving relationship that is.  I can’t imagine going through what we’ve been through without the love of God.  With Him we have the hope of a future without pain and suffering that this world offers.  When Paul was first diagnosed his remark was that it was a win-win situation for him.  Either God would heal him here on earth or he’d get to go home to heaven sooner for the ultimate healing.  Now that is something to look forward to!

Our sole purpose of existence is to have a relationship with God.  God created us for that purpose—to have a relationship with Him.  He has given us His Word, the bible, with instructions to know how to have a relationship with Him.  But because we are sinful we cannot get to Him.  So He sent His one and only Son who sacrificed His life and blood on the cross to bridge that gap and cleanse us from that sin and make us a new person.  All we have to do is repent and turn from our sins and walk a new path, the path He has for us.  And when we live with God our life has meaning and purpose.  We have joy and happiness and God’s blessings.  It all sounds so simple because it is.  But first we have to die to ourselves meaning we must get our own pride and self out of the way and let God live through us.  Sure we will still have troubles, but God is with us through it and we can see the sun through the clouds.  I can’t image a life without God.  I can’t imagine all that I’ve gone through in my life without God.  I have true happiness in spite of sorrows and sickness and the sinful world around me.  And I do mess up on a regular basis.  But God forgives me.  He says that when I repent that He will remember my sins no more.  “As far as the east is from the west, so far has He removed our transgressions from us.” Psalm 103:12  The past is the past.  I just have to work on the present and continually ask God to forgive me where I mess up.  And He is faithful to do that every time.  Oh I can’t imagine what life is like without God in my life.  I know some people think they are happy but inner peace and understanding that come from God is priceless and worth more than anything you could ever experience.

“He has showed you, O man, what is good.  And what does the Lord require of you?  To act justly and to love mercy and to walk humbly with your God.”  Micah 6:8

What are you focusing on?  How is your relationship with God?  Are you walking with Him or away from Him?  You have a choice every minute of the day.  All the choices you make will shape the outcome of your life.  Are you keeping the main thing the main thing?

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