Focus and Changing Focus

The important and the urgent. People have written reams about this subject. It’s one I relate to. How often do I miss the correct path, the right door, the most suitable task, or all of them?

I know God’s given me special signposts to follow (this blog was one), but so often I forget to look out for them. He’s shown me pictures, scripture verses and prophetic words that I can read as reminders, if only I’ll recall them, dwell on them and put them into practice. In the changed environment such as I have here now in a new church, I’ve been resolutely looking for the way he wants me to function. Dear Lord, will the old guidelines fit in this place too? I believe so.

Yes, the people are different and they want me to join them in their work, except that I’m the one who has to decide if God wants me to do every special task. Am I brave enough to say, ‘No’ when I’m sure it doesn’t fit those godly words that I’ve carried all the way down here? Over the years, my husband and I have served in most departments in all our local churches, but now our energy levels are (slightly) lower, the time available to us is less (we need to rest more often!), and we must seek the same priorities between new boundaries.

This makes me think of a furry animal that I heard of two weeks ago. A lady I know lives in the bush. Two water tanks stood in her yard, but had to be shifted. No, they weren’t in the wrong place; they were in the resident wombat’s way! Wombats have their definite, permanent track and if there’s something obstructing it, they won’t go around, they’ll go underneath! This one dug a tunnel below the tanks and they began to tip over. The same applied to the front gate: if the lady were to drive out and leave it closed for a while, she could come home and find a trench under her entrance! If only I were as focussed as a wombat! But then again, I should also be willing to change!

This year I’ve been determining my life’s priorities with family, home and new church. For me, they fall into two types: helping and responsibility. The latter is shrinking somewhat and the way I approach it has changed. My life is different. I have a certain amount of responsibility, but I can help with more tasks. I’m accountable for keeping up with family and friends; I can only assist, if necessary, with renovations! One of my own jobs is to prepare our meals, but I can help by contributing advice on what to plant in the new garden beds. I’m happy to chat with newcomers at the services every Sunday morning, but I’m better not to travel to a distant church to play the piano. Proof-reading’s my job and I do that at home. I’m finding my place, but I have to watch myself so I don’t forget why! It’s not so I can have less to do, but that I will be more focussed on what God wants me to be. As long as I obey the Lord’s voice telling me what’s a help-task and what my responsibility is, I won’t feel guilty; I’ll be at peace, knowing I’m doing God’s will.

Some things are important, others are just urgent. This is my big, overall job at the moment: learning my most important ones and asking God for his strength to do them.

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