Archives for posts with tag: focus

If you’ve ever tried to comb through a child’s long hair after a shampoo, you know it is tangled, sometimes into seeming knots, in various places. Conditioner and de-tangler is the only way to comb it without pulling the little one’s hair.

Tangles also come when they have decided to “re-do” their own pony tail or braids during the day. Yikes! Those knotted masses can bring tears and gnashing of teeth. We have to have them sit in front of us and then we can see the knots of hair and go ahead and work to untangle them.

Even my own hair gets matted into a nest when I have put it up and then sit in a recliner for a while. Ouch! When that happens, I have to carefully reach back and edge out strands of hair until I feel the lump begin to loosen. Then I continue to budge more and more hair loose as I feel around without being able to see it.

tangled

I thought about this as an analogy to our spiritual lives when I read a devotion written by Sarah Young in the book Jesus Calling: Enjoying Peace in His Presence. She wrote, “Let the Spirit take control of your mind, combing out tangles of deception.”

Sooooo right, isn’t it? When we try to untangle whatever has caused the knots in our gut, or emotions or head, we find we cannot do it. Our mind quite often is so messed up with what to do, how to do it, when and where, we simply can’t see a way clear.

Jesus told us to be like little children. We only need to sit in front of Him and let his Spirit rid us of the tangles of deception that have stopped us from having a clear view of Him.

God provides the way our feet should go on His path, and He gives us His strength to walk that distance with Him. He will hold our hands and guide our minds. His infinite knowledge has seen the future, and He knows the way we should go–whether we can see it or not. In fact He promises to make the path straight and smooth.

I pray that you will try to focus your mind on God and the fact that He has all things under His power and gives the Spirit the knowledge of how to help you in every situation you might find yourself.

Let Him untangle your life!

by Cindy Best

My grand-daughter has begun participating on her school’s archery team. I can’t tell you how proud I am of her! She and her mom began archery skills almost two years ago…when she was just seven. Their biggest enjoyment came from doing something together outside or inside…either at targets in a field or at an archery range.

And I learned a lot about the sport I did not know. There are re-curved bows, crossbows, and “guideless” bows. She has learned how to shoot bows with sights/guides and without. Her form has to be different for each one.

The fact that she wanted to join the school’s team when she was only 8 years old blew me away. She has gone to three competitions so far and scored better each time. This Saturday she will participate in a State of Iowa meet at Johnston High School. Two weeks ago, she participated in the Greater Des Moines Metro meet with over two hundred other kids.

When I saw her picture at her first meet…8 years old…standing between kids who were a good head and shoulders taller…my heart swelled with pride. That takes a lot of guts to put yourself out there where everyone in the stands can see how you do, or don’t do. It’s a solitary sport, even though you are part of a team from your school. You stand there, by yourself, aim the bow all by yourself, use your own strength and steadiness of eye and hand and let the arrow fly.

And she had to shoot FORTY arrows…at targets put out at varying distances. That’s a lot of pulling back against the “pull strength” of your bow string. And a lot of aiming. And a lot of remembering your form and stance. All by yourself.

That takes a lot of guts…fortitude…confidence. And she did it!

taking aim

Her mom did a great job in telling her that first time that the goal was simply to shoot forty arrows. Hitting the target was not the object. Just being able to pull that string and get those arrows down the lane was the goal. We were proud of her simply for doing that.

Also, her mom gave her something she could repeat to herself as she stood on the line, “Back to the Basics: S (stance) T (target) A (anchor) R (release)…STAR.”  And when one round of arrows didn’t quite go where they could have, mom saw her moving her mouth telling herself, “Back to the basics.” Then she turned and planted her feet in the correct stance, and went on from there. What a great thing, to know you know inside yourself what to listen to and succeed!

The Olympics continue this week, and I feel for those athletes who are skiing down a mountain…on their own. Figure skating…on their own. Cross-country skiing…on their own. The luge and skeleton competitors, hurtling down an icy track…on their own.

When I look inside myself, do I think I have to do this thing called “life” on my own? Do I have to pick my goal and plan my path and practice what I’ve chosen…on my own? Thank God, the answer is, “No!”

Life takes guts, no doubt about it. But I am not alone. I have not gotten off on the wrong path and left God somewhere behind me. He is with me every step of the way, and He can give me strength, guidance, a calm spirit and the insight to get me through. I only need to quiet myself and listen.

by Cindy Best

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