Lessons from Nature – Focus

Written by Bryan Holmes

I was over 4 miles into the hike before I even realized it. But it sure was there in full view the whole time I was out there. Have you ever had an experience where you became conscious of something that had been there all along but had gone under your radar? Maybe it was something outside of your life or maybe it was something inside your life. Those kinds of experiences have the power to turn your life upside down.

This was not one of those moments though…but it did make me think about how I view life. What was this thing you might ask? Death! As I looked down at the floor of the forest I noticed stiff, dry and brown leaves that had fallen a long time ago. Leaves that had once had life in them but had been disconnected from the tree for so long that they barely resembled a leaf at this point. I could go a certain direction here, but I am going to use my power of restraint and take a different path.

That was a joke that I used while on the trail with Micah’s cousins. I told them that I had been gifted with 3 powers- flight, impeccable vision and restraint. Unfortunately, the power of restraint is the most powerful of all 3 and usually ends up keeping me from using the other 2. If you are thinking that I am a dork…you are absolutely correct. I hear that all the time from Hilary through her obvious eye rolls.

Anyway, back to the trail. My eyes had been so fixated on the life within the forest that I didn’t even notice the death right in front of me. The last time I went on this trail was December and all I could see at that time was death. It is interesting to me that what our eyes view and how we perceive what our eyes view has a huge connection with the way we view the world and even live within the world.  If I am being fully honest with myself, there are times when I view my surroundings like the December version of the trail. I look around me and see death. The color- from my vantage point- is all gone. It is difficult to see all the new life when death has taken over your line of sight.

Life is full of cycles and seasons. There are times when it will be easy to see all the new life springing up, but there will also be times when you will have to envision the new life under all the death and darkness. It’s there though!

“Let us fix our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy set before him endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God. Consider him who endured such opposition from sinful men, so that you will not grow weary and lose heart.” Hebrews (12:2-3)

Because we have such a tendency to mold our lives around what we see in front of us, we have to sometimes change what we are viewing. We have to consciously “fix our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of our faith.” If you are going through a dry season right now, and your path seems more like the December version of the trail- spring is around the corner! Fix your eyes on Jesus so that you do not grow weary and lose heart!