The main focus

What do you see in this picture? An overwhelming majority will see Homestead Purple Verbena, or simply “purple flowers.” Gardeners might see a few Cypress Vines starting to grow, and are twitching at the urge to come and pull them out or train them up a trellis before they overtake the verbena.

Earlier today, i sent the photo to a very dear friend, because she had offered to come and dig out a very large rosebush that I no longer want or need. In the photo, you can see a branch of the rose bush that was shoved into the ground earlier in the summer, and it is growing tiny new leaves. This is a good sign that the rose has made roots. I wanted to entice her to take something easier to move! 

Either she doesn’t want to wait the three years before it grows into a four-foot tall monster, or she didn’t see how promising this little cutting looks, or just didn’t see it at all because it’s so small. She chose to say she is coming next week for the big one. Maybe I will foist both plants on her, as she is an expert gardener and will make them look good! A small one is easier to grow than a huge one that was moved.

The little vignette got me to thinking about what we see, and what we really focus on. Autumn is in the air, along with the cozy thoughts of apple cider, pumpkin pie, chili, and a crackling fire. Our crackling fire is electric, and it has already been turned on a couple of these chilly evenings. 

Some of us fight off thoughts of sadness at this time of year, as we survey the full-blown roses and zinnias and realize that one morning they will all be brown and limp, a victim of the first frost. The impending destruction keeps us from enjoying the last few glorious days before the dreaded freeze. 

Others focus so closely on the impending election that we fail to enjoy the blessings all around us. 

Some of us might be hunkered down just trying hard not to get sick. That becomes the focus of everything. 

The day-to-day cares and problems too often take center stage, and we forget what goal we have had our eyes on. Job, housework, shopping, bill paying … those were never our real priorities, but they cannot be ignored.

The scriptures give us but one focus … our Lord crucified, buried, and raised. Everything rests on this.

“And when I came to you, brethren, I did not come with superiority of speech or of wisdom, proclaiming to you the [a]testimony of God. For I determined to know nothing among you except Jesus Christ, and Him crucified. I was with you in weakness and in fear and in much trembling, and my message and my preaching were not in persuasive words of wisdom, but in demonstration of the Spirit and of power, so that your faith would not rest on the wisdom of men, but on the power of God” (1 Corinthians 2:1-5, NASB).

If everything we do is through the lens of the gospel, acknowledging who is in control and that He has a purpose for us, the rest of the “picture” will become clearer and make more sense. 

“I will lift up my eyes to the mountains;
From where shall my help come?
My help comes from the Lord,
Who made heaven and earth” (Psalm 121:1,2).

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