Thursday, February 11, 2010

Focus, Macey. Focus!

During my softball games, after an error in the field, a strikeout, or prior to an at bat that desperately needed to produce a hit, I could set my watch to the sure fact that my dad would yell from his stadium seat, "Focus, Macey. Focus!". If his shouts of fatherly help were after an error or strikeout, you could bet I would not look up into the stands to make eye contact. I knew it was coming. He knew I could hear him. I knew I had messed up and my dad's idea of proper course correction was to remind me to focus.

After all, wasn't focus the only obvious answer to my softball problems? Who doesn't focus when stepping up to the plate to face a 68+ mph fastball whizzing by just inches from her body? You HAVE to focus in order to get your brain to read "ball" or "strike" (read: swing or don't swing) just milliseconds after the ball has left the pitcher's hand. You also HAVE to focus to have your brain to tell your foot to step, your hips to fire and your hands to throw the bat toward the speeding ball while FOCUSING on the spin of the ball, determining its speed and rotation, thus calculating its movement in order to move your bat at just the right time, speed, and angle to meet that speeding ball at just the right spot so that it doesn't foul off, pop up or hit right at a fielder, but to smack it, hard, in a gap. Or if we're lucky, straight over the fence. Now. Who's not focusing?!

However, sometimes, instead of his fatherly course correction yell, dad's shouts were for encouragement. Before a big at bat, I would look into the stands. All he had to do was raise his hands to his eye as if focusing a large lens...and I knew what he meant. Focus, Macey. Focus. Focus on what you're doing. Because focusing leads to a clearer, truer picture.

I know many times stepping up to the plate to face an Olympic pitcher (yes, literally), that I told myself over and over, "I can hit this girl. I can do it. I know I can." I couldn't have focused any harder on focusing. I was in the moment. I was ready. I was relaxed and confident (or at least I faked it to scare the pitcher). There was nothing she could throw past me. I fought. I focused. But I didn't always get the hit. Was it because I didn't focus? Because I didn't focus hard enough? Or was I focused on all the wrong things?

I do this in my adult life now. In a past post I talked about my New Year's resolution was to "finished everything that I...". I've finally determined that my problem with finishing the task at hand is, in fact, my lack of focus. Every now and then when I stop one task to work on another one that's caught my attention the little cartoon cloud pops up with my dad's face in it telling me, "Focus, Macey. Focus!". And more often than not, I'm literally having to re-train myself on how to stay focused. I have to realize that the crumbs will still be on the table after I finish getting vitamins for the kids. I think my fear is that I'll forget. I'll forget the crumbs are there and when finally we sit down to eat dinner, there they'll be. Staring at me. Taunting me. Telling me that they won because I lost focus last night and never cleared them away.

Not only does this issue with focus run through my daily life (my daily parade, thank you very little!), but it runs throughout my time with my husband, my children, and my heavenly Father. Each night something takes my attention away from all of the well laid out plans I had intended to do. Homework time with Gavin, special time with Zoey, and snuggle time with Sean all somehow seem to get over looked for fixing dinner, cleaning up, laundry, bath time, a new show that's got my attention, researching labeling guidelines...the list goes on and on. Something always takes away my focus.

Crumbs on the table are the least of my concerns. It's when I hear the familiar yell, coming this time from my heavenly father, that really gets my attention. Although it's not coming from a parent in the stadium, it comes as a gentle tug on my heart, a whisper inside of my head, "Focus, Macey. Focus!". Stop focusing on the crumbs. Stop focusing on who's cooking what for the Super Bowl. Stop focusing on your lip gloss. Focus, instead, on me.

In the world we live focusing on God is not an easy thing. It doesn't just happen. Good focus takes effort and discipline. In much the same way as a successful hit at the plate requires extreme practice and discipline, so does our focus on God. Every day we have to decide the things we will do. Every second we have to decide the thoughts we will think. If you are feeling unfulfilled, depressed, or empty, I would fester to guess that you are not living the life God intended you to live. Return your focus to God. Don't let anyone steal your joy...not the devil, not the government, not the mean lady at the gym, not long lines, unavoidable delays, or yet ANOTHER day of snow!

Focusing on God gives us a clearer, truer picture of God and his purpose and intent for our lives. As we re-align our focus back to God (or to God for the first time), I KNOW we will receive new joy, more power, and greater peace by following his will. Peace! What an awesome reward!!

I follow an amazing blog, God Speaks Today. Each time I receive an email update that she's got a new post, I usually drop everything to read it. She inspires me. But most of all she makes me realize that I'm normal! I'm attaching her lasted post about her problems with focus.

Today I will focus on the task at hand. Nothing will steal my focus or my joy. And when I properly focus I will be rewarded by seeing a clearer, truer picture. I will be prepared to face the curve balls that each day throws my way and I will smack that ball...straight out of the park. I will live the fulfilled life that God has intended for me. And I will have peace. I hope you find it too. If you have any trouble, just call my dad...he can remind you too, to focus.

Until next time!

1 comment:

  1. That was VERY powerful! Thanks for taking time to focus on your articles. I love reading them. You have a gift!