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  • Writer's pictureLauren Mitchell


I love portrait mode on my phone because it blurs the periphery of the picture and focuses on the part that's important or central. I need this setting for life.

I need something to blur the edges and keep my focus on God.

This is it. This can be the hardest thing for me, and I know that I am not alone. I’m not even going to address our culture’s call to chaos here. There isn’t time. The day gets blurry with the speed of our lives.

These are Jesus own words on the blurry moments. They took me by surprise when I read them, and they have stayed with me.

“Here’s what I want you to do:

Find a quiet-secluded place so you won’t be tempted to role-play before God.

Just be there as simply and honestly as you can manage.

The focus will shift from you to God, and you will begin to sense his grace.” Mathew 6:6

This is the most honest description of prayer. That last part is the remedy form every single worry I have, even all the ones I haven’t imagined yet that are looming just on the horizon. The worries that make the edges blurry. I always have a new worry just waiting to slip right in and take the place of one that I conquer.

Sometimes, it’s all I can do to show up simply and honestly. I don’t know why. He’s God. It’s not like I can hide my bad attitude. Don’t misunderstand, I’ve totally tried. It just doesn’t work, but when I show up with my bad attitude and my silly distractions, it just takes a minute of being with God for the shift to start. It just takes me reading a Psalm aloud or vocalizing a thank you, or simply asking for help and then –shift, I start to glimpse grace.

The times I seem to need this most are the ones I don’t stop to do it. I just put my head down and try to fight through the blurry.

Why??? Why do I resist?

Usually I tell myself there isn’t time. Really??? Because when my attitude sucks or I’m near tears I’m really productive and saving time (insert heavy sarcasm). I need to recognize faster that the excuses are really Satan whispering in my ear.

I buy Satan’s lie over and over that I am bothering God, that I should use His time and my time more wisely. Satan wants me to keep stumbling forward instead of stopping to see where I’m headed.

There is nothing wiser than sitting at God’s feet. Soak Him up…it’s free. Your focus will shift from you to God, and He will bring all the things into focus.

Take God’s invitation of a focus shift, as many times as needed. Look long at Him until your problems become blurry. He doesn’t expect perfection, just progress, which makes Him a safe harbor for my real life.

Father, help me to honestly bring myself to you and lay down all the illusions I use with people. Help me choose to be still until my focus shifts from me to you. Let this shift set my heart free. Help me refocus when my heart starts to wander. Turn my feet back to you.

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