What is your focus?
I always love seeing photos that demonstrate a clear distinction between the focal point and the blurry background because you know what is most important in the picture. Immediately, your full attention is led by whatever is on focus when you see the picture. I was always so fascinated by how a camera visualizes the focus on a picture, but once I realized that cameras are just mimicking our human eyes, I was in complete awe of our Creator.
When our eyes look at one object, the rest of the world becomes a blur. If I lay my eyes on something close to me, everything far becomes blurry, and when I lay my eyes on something far from me, everything close to me becomes blurry. Whatever is your focal point, it becomes most important at that moment. Another analogy would be a romantic relationship. When you are so in love with one person, that person’s needs and feelings become most important to you because your focal point is that person.
According to this Bible verse, there is a clear distinction between our flesh and the Spirit. When we focus on the flesh, the Spirit becomes a blur. So, where should we land our focus then?
I see two options here:
We focus on the flesh and use our own will power to fight against our sinful desires: “sexual immorality, impurity, and debauchery; idolatry and witchcraft; hatred, discord, jealousy, fits of rage, selfish ambition, dissensions, factions and envy; drunkenness, orgies, and the like” (Galatians 5:19-21).
We focus on the Spirit and let the Spirit produce His fruits on us: “love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control” (Galatians 5:22-23).
When we focus on the legalistic rules, which are the “don’ts”, our attention tend to be on the “don’ts”. I realize that when I constantly tell myself, “don’t participate in idolatry, do not hate, don’t be selfish, etc.,” my mind would be bound by all these laws, and I would find myself trapped by all the hard works I need to put in. For example, the more I tell myself “I don’t want food,” the more I want food. However, if my focus shifts to something else, like an academic research paper that needs my full attention, I would forget to eat anything. Accordingly, if we focus on the Spirit and dwell in His presence daily, all our minds and souls will be filled with the Spirit’s desires. He will produce fruits and we will be free from all the laws of “don’ts”. How beautiful!
Growing up in a Christian family, I always follow the so-called Christian disciplines. To some point, I found Christianity tedious and even difficult because of all the rules I need to follow. I was always confused when other Christians said Christianity brought them freedom because all I felt about this religion was a restriction. I was not allowed to do this or that. However, as I grew older and started to gain more knowledge about God and actually experience Him, I finally get to grasp what true freedom is. Because of Jesus, I am not only free from sins, but also free from being trapped in rules. I get to experience love, joy, peace, and etc. Now, Christianity to me is not about being restrained by the rules or discipline but about living by the Spirit. I find peace when I dwell in Jesus and surrender all my thoughts, desires, choices to Him in prayers. Frankly, there are still many days where I find myself trapped in the old self, but I am secured in Jesus because whenever I come back to Him, He embraces me and leads me back to His path.
If we focus on the wrong thing, we lose the photographer’s purpose of the big picture, but if we focus on the right thing, we are led to the purpose. So what is the focus in your picture of life?