I’m just going to come right out and say it: my word for 2015 scares me. I guess I brought it on myself by praying for God to confirm one of the three or so words I had swirling in my head, and this was the one he brought into focus. Yeah, that’s right: FOCUS.
In all honesty I’ve gotten used to being a bit scattered. I think maybe I’ve been enjoying claiming that flightiness as part of my inborn personality, and maybe it is. But the hard truth is that if I had more FOCUS I could get more done and done well. It’s far too easy to play the “made that way” card as an excuse to get out of more grown-up and disciplined behavior. But God never meant for me to get stuck in some kind of “faith journey adolescence” and it feels like He’s calling me to step up my game in this way.
I take pride in my ability to multi-task. I may be writing this post right now but I’m also aware of the people in my house moving around, the television show in the next room (Jessie, again), and the next five things I need to get done (make breakfast, take a shower, finish cleaning my office, make more coffee, clean the cat litter) and I may or may not be pausing in between sentences to do some of those things. (not the cat litter though. Gross.) But multi-tasking is not my friend, people. Multi-tasking by its very nature means that each task is not getting the attention it deserves. If I took the time to focus on each job, maybe it would take less time to complete AND it would be done with more excellence. Maybe it’s possible to do it all, but you can’t do it all at the same time and do everything well. At least I can’t. And I’m not settling for “good enough” any more.
I’m also a dabbler. My Grandma used to tell me that I loved to start things but I never finished them, and while it made me mad when she said it, there’s some truth to that. I am prone to picking up new hobbies, for which I happily collect supplies and make plans, and then laying it all aside like yesterday’s newspaper when I find it’s not as easy or fun as it looked. My craft cabinets are tangible proof of the activities I’ve started and never completed. And with the surge in social media nowadays I am being exposed to all manner of projects that I otherwise might not have noticed. I can be scrolling mindlessly through my Facebook news feed and see that a friend has taken up Zentangles, for instance, and I start thinking that maybe THIS is the creative outlet I’ve been looking for. This dabbling is another one of those things I’d like to work on in 2015. Just because someone else does it doesn’t mean I need to jump on the bandwagon. I want to focus more on the forms of artistic expression that really capture my heart, because there is worship to be found there.
And then there’s this blog. I tend to write about whatever crosses my mind or heart, and that’s fine. But I need to spend a little time deciding what its purpose should be and maybe even capturing that purpose in a vision statement of some sort. There’s a part of me that really hates to be tied down and chafes at any sort of restriction on my creative impulses. However there’s a lot to be said for having some kind of guideline to keep me on the right path.
I tried on and rejected several other words for 2015: Intentional, Mindful, Simplify, Concentrate, Excellence, even Distill. One of the finalists was Present, because I want to be fully present in whatever I’m doing, not halfway there. I examined words that would encompass what I felt God calling me to focus (yes, I meant to do that) on this year. In the end, FOCUS was the word that kept coming up over and over.
So while 2015 is fresh and new, my goal for the year is to learn how to FOCUS – to figure out what I’m really about and what I do best, and concentrate on those things. To distill all the noise and details clamoring for my attention into what matters most. To really listen to what my husband and kids are saying. To stop trying to do ten things in a mediocre way all at one time and instead focus on one or two that I can do with excellence. To look for Him and listen for His voice. To remember what the ultimate goal is.
Begin with the end in mind.
One day at a time.
One step at a time.
Eyes on the prize, always.
In His everlasting goodness, God gave me a scripture passage to go along with 2015’s word:
I’m not saying that I have this all together, that I have it made. But I am well on my way, reaching out for Christ, who has so wondrously reached out for me. Friends, don’t get me wrong: By no means do I count myself an expert in all of this, but I’ve got my eye on the goal, where God is beckoning us onward—to Jesus. I’m off and running, and I’m not turning back.
So let’s keep focused on that goal, those of us who want everything God has for us. If any of you have something else in mind, something less than total commitment, God will clear your blurred vision—you’ll see it yet! Now that we’re on the right track, let’s stay on it. – Philippians 3:12-16 (The Message)
What about you? Do you participate in the One Word challenge? If so, what’s your word?