When I think of the word ‘focus’, several professions come to mind where a lack of focus or momentary distraction could be catastrophic: the surgeon, the fire fighter, the athlete. It is absolutely vital that they stay focused and on the ball.
I don’t know whether you are someone who has amazing focus in your life, with goals, targets and completed lists of things already achieved or if you are someone nearer the other end of the scale – laid back and can seem to have a lack of focus. I veer from one to the other, sometimes having great focus, and other times not knowing where to start. In the last few years I have felt God challenge me in being more focused, and on where and what I put my focus and attention on.
In the past my focus was firmly on being noticed, on earning acceptance, and for people to acknowledge that I had talent. I was so desperate to prove myself that my focus was all wrong. I was focusing my energies on something that was unsatisfying, for no matter how much praise or affirmation I would get, I would want more, it didn’t fulfil me. It felt like it only lasted for as long as the words were being uttered and then I would fall into self doubt and worry.
Through these times where my focus has not been right I suffered with anxiety, panic and depression. When I look back I can see that my focus had come away from the God of the impossible to the impossible. I would always focus on things that seemed insurmountable, so when the hurdles came, instead of just seeing them as challenges to overcome, I saw them as terrifying blocks that stopped me and backed me into a corner. It was only when I put my eyes back on God (Hebrews 12 v12), that I realised that He offered me all I would ever need and that I found the strength to overcome these areas. God warned us that we would have troubles in this world – but that he has already overcome the world. When I find my strength in Him I can get through for He provides for my every need.
So when it comes to my music and recording projects the business says the focus needs to be on ‘me’, and that I need to push myself forward to get heard. It might make complete sense for me to focus on where I want to go in the music world, and what I want to achieve etc. I remember an audition I did a few years back and they asked me what my focus was – where I wanted to be in 10 years, what success I wanted. My feedback said I lacked drive and ambition. Yet for me worldly fame and success is not my driving force or my aim.
For me it is about fixing my eyes upon God and living a life of serving that honours Him and using my gifts to glorify His name and not my own. I need to get out of the driver’s seat and allow God to guide me and lead me, and believe that he will make my paths straight. A verse that really encourages me and keeps me focused on this is ‘But seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be added to you’ Matthew 6 v33. When I have laid down my pride, my dreams, my longing to perform, He has not only given these back to me but given me even bigger dreams and the promise that He will fulfill them.
I pray that you would have a blessed weekend and always know no matter what life throws our way we have a Hope and assurance in Jesus.