Your Entire Attention

Yesterday I went through my calendar and wrote down everything I accomplished in 2017. It pleased me to see I did 2 items on my bucket list!

Then I went through the goals I set in 2008 and found there is only 1 item left! Full disclosure: These were my 5-year goals and it took 10 years! 🙂

I started a list of goals for 2018 and included items I did not complete in 2017. Then made notes of things I wanted to do this month. I got out my notes from the book, “Smarter, Faster, Better” and immediately became overwhelmed! I set my lists aside.

This morning I was up at 6:00 am looking at the lists again. I compared 2 similar lists and made even more notes. Then I looked up the Frank Lloyd Wright house at Ebsworth Park. (Hey, it was at the top of my list!) But planning a vacation was not the top priority today. I got sidetracked. I looked at the fun project instead of the one that is just hard work!

I’m afraid I will fail and have the same list of goals for 2019. I opened my devotional…

“Because it’s in taking action that you overcome fear.”

“Believe You Can” by John Mason

I read today’s chapters in The Message and became overwhelmed again!

  • Be especially careful when you are trying to be good so that you don’t make a performance out of it, 6:1.
  • When you do something for someone else, don’t call attention to yourself…Just do it – quietly and unobtrusively, 6:2-4.
  • And when you come before God…find a quiet, secluded place…Just be there simply and honestly as you can manage, 6:5, 6.
  • You can pray very simply. Like this: “Our Father in heaven, reveal who you are. Set the world right; do what’s best – as above, so below. Keep us alive with three square meals. Keep us forgiven with you and forgiving others. Keep us safe from ourselves and the Devil. You’re in charge! You can do anything you want! You’re ablaze in beauty! Yes. Yes. Yes.” 6:9-13.
  • In prayer, there is a connection between what God does and what you do, 6:14.
  • If you decide for God, living a life of God-worship, it follows that you don’t fuss about what’s on the table at mealtimes or whether the clothes in your closet are in fashion, 6:25.
  • What I’m trying to do here is to get you to relax, to not be so preoccupied with getting, so you can respond to God’s giving, 6:31.
  • Don’t pick on people, jump on their failures, criticize their faults – unless, of course, you want the same treatment, 7:1
  • It’s easy to see a smudge on your neighbor’s face and be oblivious to the ugly sneer on your own, 7:3.
  • Don’t be flip with the sacred. Banter and silliness give no honor to God. Don’t reduce holy mysteries to slogans. In trying to be relevant, you’re only being cute and inviting sacrilege, 7:6.
  • Don’t bargain with God. Be direct. Ask for what you need, 7:7.
  • If your child asks for bread, do you trick him with sawdust? If he asks for fish, do you scare him with a live snake on his plate?…You’re at least decent to your own children. So don’t you think the God who conceived you in love will be even better? 7:9-11.
  • Don’t look for shortcuts to God…The way to life – to God – is vigorous and requires total attention, 7:13, 14.
  • Be wary of false preachers…Don’t be impressed with charisma; look for character, 7:15, 16.
  • Knowing the correct password – saying, ‘Master, Master,’ for instance – isn’t going to get you anywhere with me. What is required is serious obedience – doing what my Father wills, 7:21.
  • These words I speak to you are not incidental additions to your life, homeowner improvements to your standard of living. They are foundational words, words to build a life on, 7:24.

All of these verses spoke to me. It was another list of things to do! I read the chapters again and saw this verse.

Matthew 6:34, “Give your entire attention to what God is doing right now, and don’t get worked up about what may or may not happen tomorrow. God will help you deal with whatever hard things come up when the time comes.” The Message

My entire attention needs to be on one thing at a time: cleaning my house, practicing piano, etc. I had better get started!

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