We all need a place to escape sometimes. For some of us it is a soccer game, as in this picture here. For others it is something a little (or a lot) more destructive, such as alcohol, drugs, gambling, and the list goes on.
What are we escaping from?
We escape from work, family problems, financial problems, heartache, health problems, etc. Problems are many times the focus of our attention because we are drawn to what hurts at the moment. It’s like when we stub out little toe; we grab our toe and moan until the pain subsides. Likewise, most of us focus on our problems or pain until it goes away.
What is the real problem?
The real problem is not work, the family, finances, heartache, or heath, etc. It is our focus. What is our focus. I have found that the more I focus on myself, the more problems I seem to have. I am always concerned about what I want, how I feel; and I complain about what is not perfect and who is not doing what I want.
Change of focus
So where should our focus be? Many times in my life I have felt my focus being pulled away from my own problems when I see another bigger problem out there somewhere. Out in the world, in my community, or among my friends. When I see a catastrophe like war, tsunamis, or poverty or when I see a friend get evicted from their home or someone I know loses a family member, that is when my problems seem to disappear. In the light of major catastrophes or serious problems all around me, my problems seems to be a trivial matter. So the problem is not my situation. It is my focus. It is my response to my problems. Do I sit and sulk? Do I worry and complain? Do I have a pity party and wonder when I will get my way, when my kids will finally behave, when my bills will ever get paid? If so, I end up worrying and becoming depressed. However….
Focus on Jesus
If I focus on Jesus, first of all, I know He has the answer and with Him I can get through the problem. My problem may not actually disappear, but I do not worry about it because “Papa” will take care of it and see me through it.
Focus on others
Prayer is a wonderful thing. When I pray for myself, I can focus on Jesus and know he has my problems in His hands and will fix everything until I feel okay again. When I pray for others, I get my focus off of myself and realize that I am not alone in my battles, pain, and heartaches.
When I see what is happening in the world I still know that God is sovereign and is not up there wringing his hands wondering what to do. He has it all under control. Sure, He gave some authority to us and commanded us to take charge of things on Earth, but He is there to help us if we ask Him.
I once heard the definition of Joy as Jesus Others Yourself. That is what our focus should be. Jesus first, others second, and ourselves last. We are here to Worship God. That is our primary focus. Then we are also here to love others. Sometimes our focus should be on them more than ourselves. Philippians 2:3 says, “Don’t be selfish; don’t try to impress others. Be humble, thinking of others as better than yourselves.” We should thing of others needs. Although we should not neglect ourselves, we should just realize that when we put others first at times, our problems seem smaller or even non existent as we focus on something else.