Staying Focused {As Your World Spins Around}

life's twirls

“You will keep in perfect peace all who trust in you, all whose thoughts are fixed on you!Isaiah 26:3

The ballerina’s elegant figure twirled around the stage with incredible ease. The Rio de Janeiro Ballet Company had come to town, and my parents bought tickets to take their aspiring ballerina to watch their performance. As a young girl, I remember watching her in awe, while dreaming of the day when I would be able to have the same technique and grace to become a Prima ballerina.

Oh, the spinning! That was my favorite. To be able to twirl around on my tiptoes for minutes, without losing my balance. That, to my young mind, was the pinnacle of ballet perfection.

And I failed. Every time I tried. I’d spin once around, maybe twice, and then, boom! I’d lose balance and trip or fall.

My French ballet instructor never took the time to teach me the secret of the perfect pirouette. She was too busy helping the girls who ‘had what it takes.’ And I certainly wasn’t on that list.

If I couldn’t master a pirouette, I could not become a ballerina. Thus my dream was shattered.

The Secret

It took me several decades to learn the secret of the technique. It was my older daughter who taught me. She had been taking dance for a while and came home very excited one day, eager to show me how she had mastered the perfect pirouette.

She straightened her posture, started a plié and whoosh! Beaming with pride, she smiled while turning 360 degrees several times before finally losing balance.

“Ooops. I lost my spot, mommy. Let me find a better one.”

Voila! Just like that, a mystery of decades was solved.

I found out that day that the secret of a perfectly balanced ballerina is finding ‘the SPOT’ – a place on stage (or on my living room wall,) at eye level, where the ballerina’s eyes will focus on, every time she makes a full circle. Her body goes around 360 degrees, and as her head turns, her eyes are always looking for the Spot at the end of that quick journey.

When she finds the Spot, she is able to stay balanced.

When she misses it, she loses the trajectory and, at least in the beginning of her journey as a dancer, will invariably fail at delivering perfect pirouettes.

When she misses the spot, her pirouette is less than perfect… which affects her next move, and the next.

The Spot centers her.

The Spot assures her.

The Spot refocuses her.

Wow.

I don’t know about you, but I need that spiritual spot every day.

I wake up in the morning and, after having a cup of (very strong) coffee to ensure my brain awakes (and I feel like a human again,) I usually open my Bible to spend time with the Lord.

Those precious moments are crucial for my day. They often give me direction… center my thoughts on Him… work on my weaknesses and convict me of my sins. I feel encouraged. Loved. And, on certain days, simply overwhelmed by His goodness and grace.

Then I close my Bible and start my activities.

I have a heart full of good intentions and a daily planner filled with appointments and to-do items.

And as the day starts, so does the spinning. And before I know it, while going from activity to activity, I lose my Spot.

And I fall. Or get discouraged… or lose my peace… or, worse yet, forget to feed the Fruit of the Spirit, if you know what I mean (and I know you do.)

I thought this exercise would get easier as time went by and the longer I lived with Jesus.

I thought once my kids were bigger and more independent, I would intuitively be more focused, as well as easily get better organized. But what I am finding out is that, the older they get and the more involved I become in ministry or other activities, the more I need that Spot.

Not just in the morning, no sire!

The morning time with the Lord is great. I wouldn’t change it for anything.

But unless I find the Spot throughout my day… I cannot stay focused, win my battles and overcome my weaknesses.

I need my ‘Jesus Spot’ to avoid losing balance.

Because it’s humanly impossible to stay focused at all times when life happens.

Of course I tremble. Of course I have moments of fear and doubt.  But what I can do is to make Him that Spot on the wall that I purposefully go back to, every time life spins me around.

It’s that Scripture that I placed on my kitchen window… a reminder of a promise that has still not come to pass…

It’s another Scripture on the same window, that reminds me that “the Lord is faithful, and He will strengthen me and protect me from the evil one.” (2 Thessalonians 3:3)

It’s that exercise of looking back, realizing that God has never failed me in the many desserts I crossed… As I walked through cancer… financial troubles… loneliness… difficult relationships…

It’s that song that reminds me of who I am in Christ…

It’s that Scripture that just ‘happened’ to be on my reading that day, and knowing that nothing just ‘happens’ in the life of a child of God…

It’s that simple prayer in the midst of my crazy, which refocuses my heart and calms my anxiety…

It’s looking at my to-do list with grace, and forgiving myself for messy countertops and sticky floors…

It’s saying yes to changing my trajectory in order to help someone… or love my children, just because…

Those are some of my ‘Jesus Spots.’ And unless I focus on them in the midst of my busy days and life turmoils, I will certainly fall.

But realize this, my friend: Just as it goes for the ballerina, the Spot is a deliberate pursuit.

You must find yours.

And then embrace the spins of this world, eyes fixed on Jesus at every turn. When you do so, and even though the trickiest twirls of life will certainly scare you, they won’t stop you.

Although you may lose balance for a minute, the Spot will keep you standing… and going.

Indeed, mastering life’s dance and twirling without falling has one simple secret – and that’s remembering that Jesus is in the room.

The Jesus Spot.

Patricia Holbrook

Patricia Holbrook is the President of Soaring with Him Ministries, author, columnist, blogger and International speaker. Her passion is to encourage her audience to "soar above life's circumstances" by the power of God's Word and the Holy Spirit's guidance. She writes about making beauty out of brokenness, trusting God in the dark, the blessings of obedience and her love for the Savior. Among other places, you can find her writing weekly on her blog, www.soaringwithHim.com. on her weekend column for the Atlanta Journal Constitution, on the iDisciple app, and websites such as Internet Devotions Cafe, among others. She writes in between car lines, homeschool lessons, tears and laughter. She lives in Georgia with her husband Steve, their two daughters and their miniature Schnauzer Jingle Bells.

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