Refocusing, in the Spiritual Sense

Refocusing, meaning there was at one time focus, hopefully good focus, however now, there is a need for adjustment.

I wear contact lenses so I do not walk through this world out of focus in my physical sight. When not wearing my contacts, I have a pair of glasses. These are great for at night while reading or watching TV. The problem is; I cannot wear them to drive or work on my computer. Could be the bi-focal effect or just that my eyes are more used to my contacts for these tasks.

Either way, I have tools to use for the physical focusing of my eyes. However, spiritual focus can be a little bit more challenging. Oh, how easy it would be to have a pair of ‘spiritual contact lenses or glasses’!

In reality, something better is available. Now before I go much further, I need to point out that when I speak of the spiritual sense, I am referring to my relationship with Jesus. I clarify this because there are many who seek “spirituality” through other means or processes.

I said relationship with Jesus. He is not my religion. No religion ever chose to take my place to pay a price I could not pay for a debt they did not owe. This relationship is just one of the situations where I personally have needed spiritual refocusing lately. Trust me, there are many!

It is not that my relationship is distant or damaged with Jesus; rather it is more that I have been busy focusing on my own priorities instead of what really matters, hence the need to refocus. I am doing this through means of putting some things out of the way in my life so spiritual focus can resume to a level that really honors the relationship.

One of the things, yes, just one, is how I view others in the grand scheme of eternal life. God has a plan to use people to reach people. It is His primary way of getting the Good News out. My dogs will most likely never get up in the morning and proclaim the Gospel message. It is up to me to go to all nations, meaning all people, and share this message.

For the most part, I get this. Then along comes that one person who reminds me that if I stay stuck in my off focused self, I really do not like to reach out. That one person who just rubs you the wrong way, you know what I mean, right? I know I am not alone here! And these people are in church fellowships all over the world!

Well, I mentioned something better than spiritual glasses is available . It is actually a Who, not a what. In God’s great plan for humanity, He gave us a gift, the gift of His Holy Spirit to guide us and have spiritual eyes focused on what He wants us to focus on.

The best part of His ‘refocusing’ gift is when I really need the help to not become distracted by that certain person or event (or more often myself), the help is there. The refocusing occurs as soon as I surrender, or put  myself aside.

What is true refocusing in the spiritual sense? Denying myself, and moving forward with what God has already planned for me along with trusting in God’s Holy Spirit to keep me on the path He has me on for the greater good of all, not just for me.


Define “normal”, please! One Shepherd’s journey…

I’ve been pondering this word “normal” lately. Is it possible that the definition of it can change depending on the circumstance we find ourselves? Is it one of those words that has a level of fluidity to it depending on the age we are?

I remember different times in my life when I was told by a parent, teacher, or other well meaning authority figure to, “Act normal!” That statement alone seems to be quite the oxymoron. ‘Act’ implies that I would not be doing ‘normal’ naturally. And if some one tells me this today, now in my late forties, is my normal now what it was say 10, 20, or 30 years ago? If not, then what made it change?

Sure, some will give the quick answer of maturity. As we mature there is the natural progression of behaving or “acting” more grown up. But for some that is not a choice; some people are given an extra chromosome and go through life with a child like faith and attitude. Their bodies age, but their outlook on life is just a joy to be around. That is “normal” for them.

Normal for my four grand daughters is different even though they are all just seven months apart in age. The oldest is four, her sister is two, their parents expect different “normal” behavior from them. As do the parents of the other two girls who are at three and almost two. And “normal” in each family can vary as well, even though my daughters were raised in the same household.

I have a T-shirt imprinted with the slogan, “Growing old is mandatory, Growing up is optional!” Is this “normal”? I thought it was funny, plus it was on sale, so I bought it. I would not wear it to preach in, well that’s not necessarily true, I might, but it is “normal” to see me in it at our coffee house, but not a school board meeting.

The dictionary defines normal as this: adjective Conforming to the standard of the common type; usual; not abnormal; regular; natural. It further goes on to define in a psychological state; free from any mental disorder; sane. So who sets the ‘standard’? What is ‘common’? Free from any mental disorder? Doesn’t that eliminate a rather large part of out society?

As I continue through my process and journey of depression and I learn more about it, I am finding out that I have differing degrees of “normal”‘ so maybe, just maybe, where I am right now is my new “normal” as I journey back to a more normal “normal”, what ever that is, I guess I’ll find out.

The one thing I am sure of is this; No matter where I am in this journey, God still loves me and Jesus still meets me where I am, and the Spirit still leads me to where I’m going.

That’s this Shepherd’s stance for today, thanks for tuning in.