Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Focus On God

By Judah Smith

I enjoy interior design. Not the DIY kind, where you take classes in furniture restoration and deck building. Power tools and I have an agreement. I don’t bother them and they don’t bother me. When it comes to interior design, I like the BIY kind: buy it yourself.
In interior design, there is a concept sometimes referred to as the focal point. Every room has a focal point: an item, or a wall, or a corner that everything else points to. When people walk into the room, they consciously or unconsciously are drawn to that focal point.
Often, by default, the focal point is the television. Other times it’s a piece of artwork. Or it’s the view out a window. Or it’s a giant stuffed elk head with beady glass eyes and eighteen point antlers that you shot with a bow and arrow on a ten-day trek through the wilderness. Hey, that’s not my thing, but I live in the Northwest, and you see stuff like that.
What is the focal point of our lives? Is it self? Is it our efforts? Is it our good deeds? Or is it Jesus?
If Jesus is the focal point of our lives, we don’t live based on what is on the earth: what we can see, touch, feel, and sense. We don’t have to be subject to the passions and philosophies that the world around us holds so dear. Instead, we orient and design our existence around heavenly truths and principles.
I don’t pretend to be an expert in human psychology. If anything, I would be the guy on the couch, not the guy in the chair taking notes. But I am a feelings guy, and when my emotions are out of whack, I know it—and, unfortunately, so does everyone else. I’ve discovered when that happens, it’s usually because I’ve forgotten what is important. I’ve lost sight of Jesus. I’ve let the pressures and disappointments of life hijack my thoughts.
Some of us sing songs every Sunday about how good and powerful God is. We tell him we surrender our lives to him. Then we go to work on Monday and strive and stress as if it all depended on us. We make life about ourselves: about pleasing ourselves, about accomplishing our goals, about making things happen in our strength. It’s a subtle, unspoken switch that flips in our minds from Sunday to Monday, but the results are plain: worry, depression, fear, anxiety, pride, anger, impatience, envy, bitterness, slander, confusion, and tension.
I don’t know about you, but I prefer rest, peace, clarity, joy, and purpose. That’s a list I can get excited about. Once Jesus is the focal point—once he is the culmination of life and the pinnacle of our existence—everything else makes sense. Life becomes simple again. Priorities fall into place, and peace, joy, and rest return.
“Come to me,” Jesus calls to us today. “Come to me, all you who are weary and carry heavy burdens, and I will give you rest.”
Jesus is the point of life.
This is an excerpt from "Jesus Is ____.", a new book by Judah Smith, available now. Visithttp://www.JesusIsBook.com to learn more and purchase a copy!

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