Do you ever have times in your life when you feel as though you are drifting? Times that feel like you are simply going through the motions and not really engaging or connecting? Have you ever felt like you have lost your focus and that you can’t remember what it is to feel passion or excitement? I have been in a season of drifting for the last month or so. It isn’t that anything had changed in my life necessarily; it was more like I had lost my focus.
We all have challenges that we face in life. We all have things that pull us in a dozen different directions. We all know what it is like to feel like we will never finish all the tasks on our endless list of “to dos”. I look at the people in my circle and I see them juggling so many different balls: wife, mom, student, leader, friend, teacher, pastor, husband, dad, employee, and the list goes on. It is so easy to get caught in the trap of busyness and lose sight of what really matters.
My days are often long. There are times that at the end of the day I am fried and frazzled and don’t feel like I can do it all again the next day. I have gone to bed feeling like I am all “mom-ed” out. I have felt like I am on a carousel that won’t stop and all I want to do is get off for a little while. I have spent my days surviving instead of thriving. All of this surviving was wearing on me, until I started to feel numb. The things I normally looked forward to became one more thing on the list of things to do. I stopped connecting with people the way I had been. I was stuck.
Nothing had changed, yet everything had changed. Through some painful self-reflection, I realized I had taken my eyes off of Jesus and focused them on the storm around me. I began to allow my joy to be controlled by my circumstances. When the kids were happy, I was happy. When the kids were bickering and cranky, I was short-tempered and angry. When things were going well in the lives of the people I loved, I felt good, but when they were struggling, I felt low. I lost my focus. I fixed my gaze on what is seen.
We look away from the natural realm and we fasten our gaze onto Jesus who birthed faith within us and who leads us forward into faith’s perfection. His example is this: Because his heart was focused on the joy of knowing that you would be his, he endured the agony of the cross and conquered its humiliation, and now sits exalted at the right hand of the throne of God.
Hebrews 12:2, The Passion Translation
It is so easy to look around and be discouraged. The end never seems to be in sight and you face another day of the same struggle. The bills still keep coming and the fight to stay afloat gets harder every day. The kids still need to be fed. The laundry continues to pile up. The days still feel too short to accomplish all that needs to be done. Looking at my circumstances, I feel hopeless. Trying to control it all leaves me beaten down and discouraged. Looking to Jesus, I feel hope. Knowing that He is in control and that I don’t have to try to do it all brings peace.
I still get caught up in the chaos. I still look to people and things to bring joy. I still worry too much about what the future looks like, but I am learning to let go. I am refocusing on the only One who can carry me to the finish line of life. As I return my gaze to Him and His plan for my life, I see the light begin to pierce the endless gray of surviving. I need to be present today, not dwell in the past, and not worry about the future. Today. Fix your eyes.
“I don’t know what my future holds, but I do know who holds my future”