Change Your Focus
April 7, 2018
I was walking around after all the rain we had this spring in San Diego, and I noticed the blue of the sky was really popping against the white and gray clouds. There’s something really striking about the sky after a good rain.
I then looked down at the pavement where there was sand, gum, spilled oil, and my shoes that are a little bit worn. Something struck me at that moment – the realization that I tend to look at what’s right in front of me or below me. I don’t look up enough to take in the sky and the sun and those higher things. Why do I give allegiance to what’s below me, with all of its broken ugliness, over the beautiful sky above me?
I’ve always been more weighted in the negative – I was raised in a stern, workaholic atmosphere where it was always about performance and troubleshooting what could go wrong. I’ve been exposed to a lot of principles of positive thinking lately and I’ve realized, it’s really about elevating your thinking to a higher level. But it’s challenging for me. It’s hard for me to be positive and I’m always a little jealous of positive people who have done the Tony Robbins or Joel Osteen work, and have it in their being. I want that.
But I think that there are some people whom I consider almost too positive — meaning they will choose only to look at the positive in all situations. And as a result, they can miss out on troubleshooting opportunities for improvement in a social situation, their business, their personal life, their relational life, or their financial life.
I would invite you to have an optimistic view of your life and reality and at the same time, a realistic view of the problems in this world without being too focused on one or the other. I think when we focus too much on either one of those perspectives, it can make us lopsided and not in touch with objective reality.
For me, I need to remind myself to always be aware that there’s a duality in our existence. If I sense that I’m getting too negative or too anxious with my life, trying to solve the evils of the world, I will get overwhelmed and filled with a negative mindset and emotions. But when I get out in nature, in the ocean, when I get up on a mountain and look at the panoramic view of all the other mountains, when I get in an airplane and look down on the world, it gives me perspective and helps me not to drown in all the worries of this life.
From the spiritual perspective, when Jesus died and rose again and ascended, it is said he poured out the Holy Spirit for all who would believe. So that for all of us who believe, the spirit of the King would reign inside us, our physical bodies, and he would confirm and affirm our royalty. So when Jesus came, the kingdom of God was manifested in a special, new way.
However, the kingdom of God — specifically heaven on earth — is not yet fully seen and experienced. And it will not be fully manifested on this earth until Jesus comes back and God the father renews and recreates this whole world and joins heaven to earth in a physical and spiritual way. And so the new way of God has already begun, and yet it’s not fully here. There’s a duality. The blue sky and the clouds and the birds and the sun are above us, yet beyond us. They’re big and beautiful and cosmic and panoramic. Yet at the same time, we’re on the ground, where there are broken sidewalks and dirt and oil and trash on the side of the freeway that has to constantly be fixed and cleaned up.
It’s important that we not lose our perspective and become wholly focused on the heaven that’s on the horizon or the problems that lay at our feet. We must keep an eye on each so that we can live our lives in balance.
Are you more of a negative person or an optimistic person? Are you more of a problem seeker and solver or an optimistic visionary dreamer? The world needs both, and maybe we can meet in the middle and experience more balance, shalom, existence. I invite you to go to our website to see how you can use your gifts and talent to help brighten the future world of children living in a broken situation.