Original Publication Date: Nov 2, 2009
Last night I was awakened to a simple, yet significant need in my life: FOCUS. Not just focus, in general, but an intentional focus on God. If I’m honest, I spend the majority of my days with great focus: on work, on friends, on my personal well-being, on my immediate physical needs & desires. In a world full of ADD and ADHD, I would say that I am quite effective at focusing, in fact.
So, no, last night was not about discovering focus, but learning HOW and on WHAT to focus. In its most tangible form, focus has to do with our eyes, with concentrating our vision on a certain subject. As I thought about this, and how it related to focusing on God, I began to wonder how it all really works. What in our brains stimulates the inner working of our eyes to focus on a certain object? What does it take, physically, to keep that focus? How many actions and reactions are going on in our brains to do so?
With all of this in mind, I emailed my friend and ophthalmologist Joel. He’s real smart and great at explaining eyeballs. He did a thorough job at answering each of my queries with great detail, but there were a few simple facts that caught my attention in particular.
“The eye, when it is anatomically correct (either born that way or surgically corrected to be) is already focused when looking at at distant object,” and in contrast, “when looking at something up close, it requires more focusing power to keep it sharp.” Now, these two statements make sense when I think about experiences using my own two eyes. Just think about the struggle to focus on your own nose. What struck me is that this same simple logic can be used when setting our focus on God.
Cole used the analogy of the arcade driving game to illustrate a similar point last night. When we spend time and energy focusing on the little minutiae of our everyday lives, the work is hard and tiresome. We develop presbyopia, a deterioration of our eyes’ focusing power. It is only when we back away from our selves, and our worldly concerns, that we begin to clearly & effortlessly see what it is on which we should place our focus. It is through a broadening and selfless perspective that we allow our eyes to land on their natural focus: God.
It is no small wonder that God made these eyes that naturally focus on Him. His desire is for our whole selves. He wants not only our eyes, but our hearts and minds and full bodies as well.
For from him and through him and to him are all things.
To him be the glory forever! Amen.