Thursday, April 24, 2014

Focus on the Fence

I was watching a high school tennis match the other day and thought I’d snap a photo of the action going on behind the fence. There were powerful serves, spinning returns and flying lobs only to be slammed just slightly over the net. It reminded me of the sweaty fun I used to have playing the sport in high school. Instead of focusing on the tennis game, however, my camera’s automatic setting gave me this photo instead.

What? Focused on the fence, not on the fun?

It’s how I pray more than I care to admit. Instead of looking at what God can do, I find myself focusing on the fence, the worries, the things that hem me in.

One of my favorite verses of all times is Psalm 46:11 Be still and know that I am God. I love the variety of meanings embedded in this verse. Sometimes I dwell on the last word—God—and am humbled that He really is in control. Other times, though, I think more about the beginning of the verse—Being Still—because it reminds me to adjust my focus and watch what God is doing.

As the mom of a high school junior, my activities this year include all-things-college. College visits, college research, college scholarship information, college financial aid, college standardized tests, oh, and college admissions application deadlines. No, I am not personally doing all the work (that’s my son’s job) but I find that I try to do all the worrying. I figure I can help God out in taking care of my son. Yikes.

At a recent college visit, we were hustling up the steps of the hundred-year-old building to attend the information session on the second floor. As I rounded the corner to head upstairs, I failed to see the small ledge in front of me. My toes caught the ledge and—Slam! Instantly I landed onto both my knees. Fortunately, I didn’t hit my head on the hardwood railing in front of me, and I was basically unharmed. My knees hurt, though. I shook it off, got up, and continued up the flight of stairs.

Later that evening, it became clear to me that God put me right where He needed me. I was worrying about all the college information, and instead, I needed to be on my knees. My fence-focus went away when I instead focused on what God is doing. It was a good reminder that God has it all (even my kids) under His control, and I can simply enjoy every lob, serve and spinning return I see on the other side of the fence.

Do you focus on the fences, too?


Steph said...

I focus way to much on the fences. But why? When I do work at focusing on God, I feel much freer and more peaceful. If the feelings of our God-focused times are better, why is it so hard to do on a consistent basis?

Anonymous said...

Unfortunately, I too focus on the fences. On the days I'm able to put my day in God's hands things go much better. Tough to stay focused on God's will than to
try to take control.