By Lisa Huddleston
“So we do not focus on what is seen, but on what is unseen; for what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal” (2 Cor. 4:18).
Even as I sit down to write, distractions swirl in my brain. My body appears focused: rump in chair, hands on keyboard, eyes fixed on my nearly blank screen. But in my head, a storm rages. How can I help my son with his college auditions? Did I get everything turned in for my class that begins next month? Do I even have time for it? Will anyone participate in the arts event I am planning? When should I schedule a trip to see my dad? Can I go to the store today to get food for the dogs? My thoughts randomly run round and round bouncing off each other with increasing speed until I want to crawl back in bed, cover my head with my pillow, and go to sleep. Someone, please, shut off the noise! How can I settle down, stay out of bed, and prioritize my thoughts so that this day will end not in confusion but accomplishment?
For me, the answer to that question is focus. We all know those people who personify consistency. A pastor’s wife and a former mentor of mine is one who exemplifies such focus. Intense, still, and consistent in her beliefs, Ann has been a welcome harbor for many who have found themselves adrift in a storm. Firm and unwavering. A rock. I always know where she stands and that she will still be standing there the next time I see her even if it is months or years from now. I marvel at those who can demonstrate such incredible focus even as I swirl by in my noisy, inquiring-minds-want–to-know state of being. Rarely still internally and frequently beginning fearful (at least to me), new projects, I appreciate those consistent pillars who can tether me to what is firm and unshakable.
Ah, yes. The eye in the storm. Now I remember. And for a time the chaos stills. First things first. “Seek first the kingdom of God.” That’s it. The focus I need. Jesus. And eternity reaches into my busy day. “And all these things will be provided for you.” Temporary things. Things I need and those around me need. Thank you, Lord, for knowing my needs and providing for them. “Therefore don’t worry.” Does He know me or what? And I smile in this intersection of time and eternity. Calmed for now. Focused once again on the unseen, but not unseeing, Eternal.
Can you believe it? (Of course, you can.) The phone rings. New thoughts. New projects. New worries and fears. Exciting, stimulating, and not still at all. And away I go. But I know He’s still here—with me in the swirl of thought and activity. Firm, unshakable, and consistent. My Focus. My Anchor. My Jesus.