FOCUS. Isn't that something you do with your camera? Or is it the name of one of the new Ford model cars? Looking in Merriam-Webster I had no idea there were so many definitions of “focus.” The first six involved various scientific applications that I would need to ask Doug Given to explain to me. The seventh and last is one I can grasp. Focus: directed attention.
And I understand in general that our “focus” particularly during this time of Lent should be on our faith journey, on God and of the gift of His Son Jesus Christ and on the grace of the resurrection. But there seem to be a lot of moving parts to “focus” on.
It reminds me of the golf lessons I once took. I thought, this should be simple. But in the first five minutes the instructor gave me way too much to think about: my grip (something about interlocking my fingers) the way I stand, the way I took the club back, the angle of the club to my body, keep my left arm straight, rotate my hips, lock my left knee, keeping my chin down but my head up (impossible!) while all of the time paying attention to the plane of the club, slow down my swing, pulling with my left hand and following through. Really? I am going to focus on all of those things at one time.
So it is sometimes with our faith. What am I focusing on? Reading the Bible? My prayer life? My daily journey? The needs of those in our community who are sick and in need of prayer? The youth of our community and the troubles they face? Do I focus on the golden rule? The great commission? The Ten Commandments? Which one should I focus on today, in this hour, in this minute? Where should my focus be?
My focus today is on a simple truth. In Romans 8:15 Paul said: The Spirit you received does not make you slaves, so that you live in fear again; rather, the Spirit you received brought about your adoption to sonship. And by him we cry “Abba Father”. And in Galatians 4:6: Because you are his sons, God sent the Spirit of his Son into our hearts, the Spirit who calls out, “Abba Father”. So you are no longer a slave, but God’s child; and since you are his child, God had made you also an heir.
As children of the Father we are called into relationship with God, the Almighty Father. And just as sons of our earthly fathers, we must focus on our relationship with God as the “Father”. We must not tend to it occasionally, like Sunday morning, but throughout every moment of every day. We must invite our heavenly Father’s relationship into every aspect of our life. With this “Fatherly” relationship as our focus, we are able to understand His will for us as we live our daily lives. Through this relationship with God as our Father we are filled with a peace and confidence which transcends all earthly understanding and which can overcome any challenge this world may throw our way. Focus today on the simple truth that God loves us so much he invites us to call him “Father” and into a relationship made possible through the sacrifice of his one and only Son, Jesus Christ.