Take it from a highly motivated man: it’s easier than we imagine to lose balance when we lose primary focus. Focus is what keeps true perspective intact. How much might you appreciate this definition of focus? From Merriam-Webster: “a center of activity, attraction, or attention; a point of concentration; directed attention: emphasis; direction.” © 2022 Merriam-Webster, Incorporated.
Understanding what motivates you to believe in a cause, and the role you wish to play in it, certainly can ground and stimulate focus. The dictionary further relates focus to vision, and how focusing helps improve it.
We may understand what focus is in the terms above, but I wonder how often we allow distractions to permeate our efforts at concentration?
Each and every morning, over breakfast, I take time to read a passage in the Old and New Testaments; as of this writing, I am reading and studying in the books of Ezekiel and Matthew. I have my phone with me, as a standard practice, to communicate with others following this time of Bible concentration. Occasionally, however, I let my mind wander to the phone: including the people I need or want to contact, current events, and more. Then I suddenly come back to reality. Why? Because those things can become distractions from the Biblical truths I am reading, so I mentally switch gears and get back to reading and studying. I see that distractions, even so-called important ones, can rob me of the true focus. At times, this realignment requires that I turn the phone off. I am relieved when I do.
How often has this happened to you? In my heart and mind, I know nothing is more important than God’s Word. When discipline occurs, I feel like I am coming home to the most important start to my day, more important than any other piece of information or personal contact.
Enter balance: it is often a key to quieting the mind, engaging the heart, and asking God for wisdom and guidance about whatever the day may hold. A rule: our primary focus or attention needs to first be on God’s Word, balancing that most vital of all engagements: reading scripture, learning, studying, and applying it. Focus and balance are uniquely intertwined and should not be separated, though they often may feel like distant cousins instead of close brothers.
Personally, a positional perspective takes center stage when I do not allow distractions to rob me of what should be the central focus; so, I return to concentrating on the truths God is trying to teach me when I am still, knowing He is God and letting Him lead me.
This reminds me of a great scripture in Psalm 46:10 (New International Version): Holy Bible, New International Version®, NIV® Copyright ©1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.® Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.
“He [God] says, ‘Be still, and know that I am God; I will be exalted among the nations, I will be exalted in the earth.’” God is in charge, regardless of any distractions; I must and will let Him lead and guide, free of needless interruptions. His leadership is part of His exaltation. I must allow my primary focus to be His Will. Again, I choose to let “God be God” in my life in these balancing times. When I adopt this attitude my focus returns from distractions to what is vitally important: His Word, Will, and Way.
Many years ago, I engaged in competitive speech in High School. The concentration while participating in these events was intense; yet, when fully focused, relaxing and communicative. Balance was achieved when focus was sure, and true communication followed.
That is what I truly desire: achieving balance, especially when studying His Word.
A new author friend is Rick Redd, MD. See his written contributions at this website: www.all-inornothing.com. He is fond of a focusing, relaxation, and meditative technique called 4-5-8 breathing, often coupled with meditation. I use 4-5-8 breathing constantly: inhale slowly for four seconds, hold for five seconds, exhale slowly for eight seconds. Repeat. This is one technique of many in re-establishing focus and achieving balance.
So, let me encourage you to try to focus on balance, write about it, and if you so desire, send your thoughts my way: firstname.lastname@example.org. Along this life journey, dwell on what lasts, needed more than anything else: God, His Word, Will, and Way.