I need to make a confession to the men who read this blog. As I relate to older men of my age, we are aware of the generation gap that exists between our children and grandchildren when it comes to “electronic devices” such as the computers and smart phones. My wife and I have been experiencing significant stress in adapting to our new cell phones, along with the electronics in our new Highlander. It has truly complicated our lives. Literally, I had to go for a prayer walk and get back to my center, which, of course, is the awareness of Jesus in my life. I found myself getting “grumpy” and negative. I just wanted to go, hide and “throw in the towel.”
This personal saga that my bride and I have weathered really got me to thinking of how complications in life get us off center. Life was so much simpler and easy to manage when we didn’t have to deal with matters of “digital age.” But now with all the electronic “wizardry” involved, both my wife and I are experience frustration, confusion, impatience and a lack of peace. We rarely get on each other’s nerves, but that was we even happening. The sense of peace that comes from Jesus’ presence was absent. The mood was frustration, along with a sense of helplessness, as though we were caught in a web with no way out.
Men, what are the things that get you so distracted that you lose your focus on Jesus. “Simplicity” is a vital practice in keeping us centered in Jesus. Simplicity is not being a simpleton, but rather the expression of one who as the proper focus. Their life is centered in Jesus. At a deep level their desires are for him alone. Judy and I try to live simply, that is, having a lifestyle that does not distract from our focus on Jesus. But we can get off center. Paul said of his life, “I once thought things were valuable, but now I consider them worthless because of what Christ has done. Yes, everything else is worthless when compared with the infinite value of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord. For his sake I have discarded everything else, counting it all as garbage.” (Phil 3:7-8) Simplicity is reflected in a life that sees everything as “worthless” compared to knowing Christ.
Years ago I read of an old Shaker hymn that has stuck with me and now has become more meaningful. “Tis a gift to be simple, ’tis a gift to be free, ’tis a gift to come down where we ought to be.” Notice the being simple is a gift. We can’t accomplished it. Jesus ignites a desire for him in our hearts. When we yield our life to Jesus, he gives us a heart that is focused on him. We also are gifted with freedom, along with the ability to “come down where we ought to be,” that is, to get our focus back. Thankfully, Judy and I have our focus back on Jesus and not the electronic stuff. But it will continue to be a challenge. How are you being challenged in your focus?