Is your focus distracted?

When we go on holidays, my wife Sue is the one who usually takes all the photos. But, on our recent holiday, as many of you know, Sue had a fall and broke her ankle and so I found myself taking most of the photos. Now, although many of them turned out ok, what proved quite challenging was to make sure the shot was in focus, and especially when taking a photo of a small bird.

As you probably also know, I love seeing finches in the outback, and when I get a good photo of them in the wild, I am pretty rapt. But that is easier said than done. It can be extremely hard to get them in focus, because the camera struggles to focus on them, irrespective of being in automatic or manual mode, due to the leaves that are also at a similar distance from the camera. And so sometimes the leaves are perfectly in focus but the bird is blurred. Or, at other times, because one is usually using a zoom lens, the bird is all blurred, from the slight movement of the camera when you click it. Many a time, I used Sue’s headJ to rest the camera on it, so that the shot wasn’t blurred! Yes, keeping the right thing in focus (in my case, the bird) can be quite a challenge at times!

Friends, the same is true in our walk with Jesus. We are meant to be following him closely. And so, we are meant to have our eyes well and truly focussed on him, and when we do so, we will see everything else more clearly. But this can certainly be challenging, and especially so today, in a society that is hell-bent on wanting everything opened 24/7, and in a society hell-bent on cramming as much into one’s life – here on earth – as possible, and in a society that offers a lot of very attractive things to get your attention: your focus.

Yes, life here in the west, is very similar to trying to take a photo of a small bird in the bush: it is hard to focus on what truly matters.

Some of you will know that I have been quite concerned about this for God’s family at TGS for some years now. There seems to be a growing number of all kinds of leaves and branches getting in the way of our focus; and so they keep us away from Sunday worship; they keep us away from Mid-week small groups, and no doubt they keep us away from a close daily walk with Jesus.

Friends, in this sort of environment, it is very challenging indeed to keep one’s eyes focussed on Jesus. For some of us, we might need to repeatedly say ‘no’ to a particular leaf that wants our focus. For some of us, we might need to do something quite drastic – not use Sue’s head – but you know what I mean.



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September 13, 2020