Focus--Starting the New Year Right
Jennifer SlatteryAuthor and speaker Jennifer Slattery has addressed women’s groups, Bible studies, and writers across the nation and her love for seeing others embrace freedom in Christ is evident in each of her six contemporary novels and on her devotional blog, JenniferSlatteryLivesOutLoud.com She has a passion for helping women discover, embrace, and live out who they are in Christ. As Founder of Wholly Loved Ministries, she and her team partner with churches to facilitate events designed to help women rest in their true worth and live with maximum impact. When not writing, reading, or editing, Jennifer loves going on mall dates with her adult daughter and coffee dates with her hilariously fun husband. Visit with Jennifer on Facebook at JenSlatte.
- 2017 Dec 26
There's little more frustrating than looking back on a busy, tiring day and realizing you've accomplished nothing. Or at least, nothing of value. Or to embark on a task, perhaps seven or eight times in a day, only to be distracted, seven or eight times.
We all have those days, right? Times when our lack of focus, lack of prioritizing, eats up our productivity. But we mustn't let those times of distraction and futility, of wasted effort, become a norm. We all have countless opportunities set before us each day, sometimes even great opportunities, eternally impacting opportunities, but that doesn't mean each one is for us.
God has carved out a unique path for each one of us. He's created us, gifted us, molded and equipped us, to fill a very specific role. I love how Ephesians 2:10 puts it: "For you are God's masterpiece. He has created us anew in Christ Jesus to do the good things He planned for us long ago" (NLT). We are God's masterpiece! That word grabs me every time. As does the ending of the verse, "He planned for us long ago."
This reminds me that God has a plan, a very good and very specific plan, for my life. My role is to discover that plan and follow it with everything within me, resisting the constant pull to be everything to everyone. Rather, I am to give everything--my time, energy, thoughts, and actions--to the Son. Proverbs 4:25-27 says "Look straight ahead, and fix your eyes on what lies before you. Mark out a straight path for your feet; stay on that safe path. Don't get sidetracked; keep your feet from following evil" (NLT).
This verse speaks of determined focus, of perseverance, of intentionality. Of zeroing in on whatever it is Christ is calling me to do each day. Which implies taking the time to discover what He's calling me to do. Which in turn implies taking the time to prayerfully read His Word each morning.
Let's talk about this! What about you? What is God calling you to do? Raise your children or grandchildren to love and honor Christ? Reveal Christ's love and grace in your work place? Serve in a church ministry with excellence? Are you doing that with focus, perseverance, and intentionality? Are you giving your whole self to that task, or have you allowed nonessentials to leave you divided? What time-sappers have you allowed in your day that hinder your effectiveness? Share your thoughts here in the comments below
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If you enjoyed today's post, you might also like The Imperfect Perfect Christmas and Squelching Our Inner Martha This Christmas. I also encourage you to sign up for my free, quarterly newsletter to receive devotions, short stories, recipes, and more sent directly to your inbox. When you sign up, you'll also receive a free, 36-lesson study (ebook, sent separately) that springs from 1 Timothy. You can sign up HERE.