I've had a hard week. My writing has slid by the wayside with all the demands of my large family. Several days I sat at the computer to write and just stared at the screen, my fingers not getting any words to type. My mind is so full and being pulled in all directions that I haven't been able to focus on the task at hand.
I've asked myself, and the Lord, over and over this past week, "What is my task at hand? What do I really need to focus on right now?" When I read the above scripture, it became clear that the way to success, meaning to bear fruit, is to have your roots firmly planted where you can receive the blessings from the water -- the living water -- which is from God. The only way to do this is to stay in the Word and soak up as much from it as you can.
Several years ago, I came across a piece of writing by Lilias Trotter on the web about "this one thing I do."
It reads in part:
This so aptly describes my life of late. Writing in a Christian theme is something surely the enemy wants to thwart, but I wasn't aware of this. I haven't been able to understand why this may be a huge threat to the dark world. "The sway of inspiration, 'this one thing I do," may be furthering the kingdom for God, but not for the adversary.
The "side-interests" Ms. Trotter speaks of might indeed be good things. Like taking care of my grandchildren, cooking and cleaning, organizing my home, helping with our church youth group, volunteering at the schools, and on and on. But if we take our focus off the "one thing," our concentration suffers... in everything we're trying to do. This is what's happened to me lately.
When I'm set on cleaning the house, I'm feeling stress because I should be writing. When I'm writing, I'm stressed because I should be spending time with the grandkids.
When I turn my face to God, I can accomplish much more and feel content.
"You have to choose which you will fix your gaze upon and let the other go,"Ms. Trotter points out. Is it really that easy. I think this is something men do better than women. I've watched my husband many times deep in focus on one thing and able to tune out even my voice when I'm speaking to him. Haven't we seen this with our men watching football games on TV?
Look at Mary and Martha when Jesus came to their home. Martha was unfocused. She was stressing over all the work to do while Mary just soaked up the joy of having Jesus near, listening to his words, being close to him. What did Jesus say to Martha? "Mary has chosen the better part."
So possibly this is a female instinct, part of our nature. While we're scrubbing the floors, we're worried about dinner on the stove or the kids playing outside. We are wonderful "multi-taskers."
But Paul says in Philippeans 3:13-14:
If only I could remember this. Maybe I should make it my "one thing I do" to just remember, period.
It is an absolutely gorgeous day here in Tennessee. It's finally gotten cool in the evenings and mornings with the sun shining in a clear blue sky, the fall wind rustling the leaves in the trees, and a friend of mine and I have decided to finish up our Staurdays tasks and go walking and admire all of God's beautiful creation. I will keep my focus on just that, forgetting everything that is behind or ahead. I will enjoy this day that the Lord has made.