Lord, what do I do with the swirling thoughts, ideas, and passions inside my head? How do I use what I’ve learned, what I care about and my faith to help others? This was our conversation during my morning walk.
He replied: Claim your Prize. Narrow and simplify your focus on me.
To what extent would I trouble myself if I’d suddenly won a fabulous trip or a Southern Living dream home? I’d pore over paper work and fill out monotonous forms; I’d make any number of phone calls and produce whatever validation I needed to claim my prize. Basically, I’d do whatever it took.
What about The Supreme Prize; the one I’ve already landed?
I concur with the Apostle Paul when he wrote,
I’m not there yet, nor have I become perfect; but I am charging on to gain anything and everything the Anointed One Jesus has in store for me—and nothing will stand in my way because He has grabbed me and won’t let me go. Brothers and sisters, as I said, I know I have not arrived; but there’s one thing I am doing; I’m leaving my old life behind, putting everything on the line for this mission. I am sprinting toward the only goal that counts: to cross the finish line, to win the prize and to hear God’s call to resurrection life found exclusively in Jesus the Anointed.
In the last couple of weeks, I’ve felt discouraged and stuck. I’m weary of the loneliness the pandemic has brought. At first it was easy, because I enjoy alone time. But, now, I’ve had enough aloneness. I miss two of my children I haven’t seen in five months. I miss our church friends.
I worry about my writing. Does anyone care? Have I benefitted folks? Did you really call me to write, to encourage others, Lord? What do you want me to say or do? What am I doing that really matters?
I have so many feelings, just as a good feeler should.
He reminded me, as I spewed out all my questions, to relax and focus on the real Prize—Him. To remember that it’s his strength that matters, not mine. He calls the weak and the unqualified so he can show his strength.
My grace is enough to cover and sustain you. My power is made perfect in weakness.
2 Corinthians 12:9
As I walked, God encouraged me to simplify and narrow my focus. To pour everything I have and everything I know into complete focus on him.
Newly honed focus calls for creative ideas so I don’t get off track.
- Spend time with God before Instagram. Social media can wait.
- Take a walk early; have an honest conversation with God. He’ll speak when I’m quiet enough to listen.
- Time block my days in advance. A day will unfold and I’ll default to unimportant activities. Guard against the trap of incessant, loud voices vying for my attention.
- Be awake to the beauty around me. Our creator— the master designer— made us for beauty. Lay out a lovely table just for family dinner. Arrange flowers and shiny gray-green leaves from our hedge.
- Look for nature gifts—his creation— on my walks.
- Escape my cooking rut with new recipes.
- Read a fun book to grandchildren via FaceTime.
- Dive into a great work of fiction for a break from my cluttered mind.
- Make an actual phone call to a friend.
- Bake bread and deliver it to someone I’ve missed a lot. Wrap with parchment paper, tie with string and stick in a sprig of rosemary.
Stay focused on what’s above, not on earthly things.
Seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and then all these things (food, drink, clothes) will be given to you.