“WE HAVE BEEN GIVEN the freedom to choose what we see, what we pay attention to, what we rest our awareness on. There are zillions of things that can attract us, call us to themselves. Our task is to choose which ones we want to pay attention to, which ones we want to invest our energy in, for we cannot endure full consciousness of everything. We must focus on something more limited. … A truly spiritual task, a discipline actually, is to take the time as often as possible each day to stop, look, and listen to whatever is around and within us. Just a minute or so four or five times a day will gradually lead us into a heightened awareness of what is truly around us and within us.” – Jane Marie Thibault A Deepening Love Affair
FAITH FOCUS: Awareness/Focus I must admit, I sometimes (ok, quite often) get out of focus with my faith. I tend to have a “go, go, go” mentality…I want to study more, learn more, do more. More often than not, I am encouraged in this by my brothers and sisters in Christ…”Are you coming to Sunday school? Joining the Bible Study? Going on the retreat? Volunteering for the ministry?” I know the importance of serving the Church, doing for others, sharing God’s love, but somehow, I get on “automatic pilot”…and, no, unfortunately, my “automatic pilot” is not Christ, it is me. I attempt to study more, learn more, do more in an effort to show God how much I love Him. But, in doing this, I have lost focus of something important. I don’t need to feed on God’s Word, I need to be fed by God’s Word. I don’t need to fill myself with His Holy Spirit, I need to be filled. I don’t need to do more for Him, I need to allow Him to do more through me. I sometimes choose to try to focus on ALL that is around me, invest my energy in EVERYTHING around me. Perhaps, as Thibault says, I should “take the time as often as possible each day to stop, look, and listen to whatever” God has placed around me, within me- not the things I have “seen” as important from the world’s perspective. Today, I freely choose to be aware of the things God has placed in my life, in my heart, and focusing on this “more limited” view. I choose to invest the energy to study, learn, and do these “spiritual tasks” as I seek to gain strength in my CORE in Christ.
FITNESS FOCUS: I want you to CHOOSE what to be aware of physically today. Is it your posture? flexibility? strength? Which thing will you FOCUS on today? After you are aware of what your body is telling you, focus on your response. Just one movement…for posture: neutral spine, for flexibility: a stretch, for strength: a push-up or plank. You are FREE to CHOOSE.
As you are thinking about your physical body today, remember you are free to choose HOW you think. It’s not “I have horrible posture”…its “I feel taller already!” Not “I am so inflexible” but, rather “These stretches are really working!” … and finally, it is not “I am so weak”, but “I can feel myself getting stronger!” Again, you are FREE to CHOOSE!