A Single Focus
Mowing is therapeutic, the motor drives away extra mental noise, and the resulting straight line in the grass is pure satisfaction! Green and clean, that's the goal. I get my therapy at our house trying to keep the lines straight over our rolling hills in Kentucky. The secret is this: focus. When I cut the first row I pick out a spot on the other side whether it's a pole, a tree, or a rock, and mow to that one spot. If I do then I will mow a straight line down the first hill, across our basin, and up the second hill. If I get distracted by a rabbit or snake, I can tell where my vision was off because the mowed line goes astray.
Likewise our spiritual life is prone to distractions and it's important we keep our focus. Psalm 101 reminds us that our spiritual life starts and is sustained by a singular focus. It begins when our hearts have a singular desire focused on God and continues as our minds stay focused on the truths of God as found in His word.
While the exact translation is a little fuzzy, the sentiment of Psalm 101:2 is this, “I will study, meditate, and ponder on the goodness of God so that I can live my life His way.” David is not describing a haphazard pursuit of being a person of godliness and integrity. He is describing a careful studied pursuit! It’s like dieting. Some people say, “I’m going to lose weight.” Which means nothing unless they have a plan.
The question we need to answer is what do we want? Do we really want the best God has to offer? Or do we want just a little bit of God? It's meaningless to say, “I want a full life with God,” unless we make a careful studied pursuit of God.
This careful pursuit of God means having focused vision. Psalm 101:3 reminds us that what we look at effects our spiritual lives! Do you have a problem with angry thoughts? Are you feeding your mind and heart angry music or TV? Do you have a problem with sexual thoughts? Are you feeding your mind and heart sexual music or images? Do you have a problem with demeaning humor? Are you feeding your mind and heart demeaning comedy?
This last week I was convicted, in a heavy way, because I noticed I had grown rather cynical. Largely in part because I've fed myself a steady diet of sarcasm and sarcasm left unchecked grows into cynicism. I've learned that we can not mindlessly consume whatever is put before us instead and expect to grow in godliness. If we want to get serious about godliness we have to get serious about what we feed our souls and that starts with keeping a single focus.