• Marty Lythgoe

Where's Your Focus?

I have received notice recently that it is time for my annual eye exam. I must admit that my eyes have been tired and my focus has not been quite as clear as I would like it to be. So it must be time

Considering an eye exam and a new pair of glasses caused me to think about my focus in life. Is it as sharp as I would like it to be, or do I get distracted by information, entertainment, and/or a million other things that can cause me to lose focus? I must admit that I sometimes lose focus on tasks I need to complete and goals that I have set.

Considering my focus (or lack thereof), I was reminded of a story in the AA Big Book originally titled "Doctor, Alcoholic, Addict," but now renamed "Acceptance is the Answer." In this story the writer states, "It was as if I had, rather than a Midas touch which turned everything to gold, a magnifying mind that magnified whatever it focused on." He was referring to either focusing on his wife's good qualities or her defects -- either one got magnified depending on his focus.

He expanded on this thought, saying "When I focus on what's good today, I have a good day, and when I focus on what's bad, I have a bad day. If I focus on a problem, the problem increases; if I focus on the answer, the answer increases."

We are being bombarded by news about the opioid epidemic and the rising number of overdose deaths in our country. If I choose to focus on the problem, it is so overwhelming that it seems unsolvable. Yet at the same time 12-Step fellowships are growing and new medications may offer addicts a much greater chance of recovery.

We are entering a political season in which the negative comments by both sides will only serve to make the division in our country so giant that the thought of "one nation under God" seems like an impossibility. Will we focus on the problems in our country or will we choose to focus on the many blessings we all have as Americans?

There is a story in the Bible (Numbers 13 & 14) in which the Israelites sent spies into the land of Canaan to check out the land. When they returned, they all agreed that it was "a land of milk and honey," and they brought back some of the fruit of the land -- a cluster of grapes so large that had to be carried on a pole by two men. However, there was a problem. There were giants in the land and all the spies but two, Joshua and Caleb, were afraid to enter the land. They focused on the giants and not on the fruit.

We have all encountered giants in the land. Maybe your giant was poverty. Maybe your giant was a learning disability. Maybe your giant was an abusive relationship. Maybe your giant was addiction. I have come to believe that if we will focus on God's strength and not our fear, that we will overcome our giants and then be able to help others overcome their's.

Where's your focus?


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© 2018 Marty Lythgoe