Where’s Your Focus?

I’m sure most of you have been to the eye doctor at least once in your life. You are sitting in the dark room with these crazy alien goggles pressed to your face. The doctor will switch back and forth between lenses asking which one is better; which one is more in focus? Sometimes, well a lot of the time, the look is so similar it’s hard to pick which one is better. But then, there are times that it is painfully clear which one is in focus. You can see out of one clearly and the other is a complete blur.

I feel like we go through most of our life without it being in proper “focus.” We are told by the media, movie and television stars, the newest internet sensation, and even sometimes our friends and family, that we are to focus solely on the outside appearance. What is happening on the inside doesn’t matter as long as we look “socially” acceptable on the outside.

You are taught to focus on the inconsistent things about yourself. Your weight will fluctuate, your skin will not always be flawless, your hair will not always be perfectly in place, and your clothes will not always be in style, you will not always drive the newest and fastest car…but, these are the exact things we learn to put our focus, our energy, our precious God-given time to.

From a very young age, pressure is put on most of us to fit perfectly into society. Being different is not always welcome. I had no idea I was a chubby child until my mother took me to see a dietician when I was eight years old. That is when my relationship with food and how I viewed my physical appearance changed for my entire life. That memory is burned into my brain. It is one that I have fought with my entire adult life. My mother thought she was doing what was best. She had been an overweight child, and her mother had done the same to her.

It has taken me almost 32 years (since I now am 40) to stop worrying about the inconsistent. I have spent so much of my life hiding because I felt ashamed of the things society says I should change. In Psalm 139:13-16 we are told, “For you created my inmost being; you knit me together in my mother’s womb. I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful, I know that full well. My frame was not hidden from you when I was made in the secret place, when I was woven together in the depths of the earth. Your eyes saw my unformed body; all the days ordained for me were written in your book before one of them came to be.” The Lord tells us that he made us wonderfully. We are not a mistake. We are not all made by the same blueprint. God made us all diverse. We are not all made to be the exact same, cookie-cutter version of a human.

We still are to honor the body that God has given us. Knowing that we will not all look the same or be the same size shouldn’t deter you from still eating healthy foods. In 1 Corinthians 6:19-20 it says, “Or do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit who is in you, whom you have from God, and that you are not your own. For you have been bought with a price: therefore glorify God with your body.” Eating healthy foods that God has provided for us here on earth helps keep our temple in working order.

Let’s make a promise to each other to begin focusing on the consistent things and qualities about ourselves and others. The things of your soul. Are you kind, generous, loving, patient, faithful, gentle, loving, joyous? These aspects of your character should always be the same, no matter what the inconsistent outward appearance looks like. I have become a much happier person focusing on the inner me. I am slowly walking a journey to better health which may change my outward appearance. But my main focus will always be the inner person. The one that God knit in my mother’s womb. For I am fearfully and wonderfully made. God has big plans for me and for you. Don’t give up on yourself just because you may not fit society’s mold. You fit God’s mold! You are exactly who you are meant to be.

This week’s recipe is delicious quick lunch or supper for families on the go. It is a vegetarian dish featuring black beans, but feel free to add chicken or ground beef if your family prefers. I promise they won’t be disappointed.

“Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they?” Matthew 6:26