Focus on Christ
By Cindy L. Korf of North Platte, NE, USA
“But I say to you that listen, Love your enemies, do good to those who hate you, bless those who curse you, pray for those who abuse you. If anyone strikes you on the cheek, offer the other also; and from anyone who takes away your coat do not withhold even your shirt. Give to everyone who begs from you; and if anyone takes away your goods, do not ask for them again. Do to others as you would have them do to you. —Luke 6:27–31 NRSV
I am surprised at the comments I receive from others asking how I can do my job and stay optimistic with humanity and the world. I work with victims of crime; I hear and see cruel things people do to others—even to ones they “love.”
I ponder how to respond to the questions and comments. Would they understand and accept my reply, “I start each morning in prayer. I listen to God’s Spirit throughout the day, and I end each day in prayer. I try to let the spirit of Christ minister through me”?
Peter walked on the water to Jesus. When he looked away from Jesus to the stormy waves, he became terrified and began to sink. I have found that we each have stormy seas surrounding us, and it is when we take our eyes off Christ that we, too, will start to sink.
I can only do my job by keeping my eyes on Jesus. I think it is easier for me to do that when I start each day with prayer. I hold him close to my heart throughout the day because the “seas” are stormy around me. I wonder—if the seas that surround me weren’t that stormy, would I still keep my focus on Christ?
Prayer for Peace
Capture our attention, O God, so we will not focus on our troubles and storms. Help us focus on peace.
Spiritual Practice: Spirit-centered Balance
As you walk or drive today, notice the unlikely places where you see growth, life, color, beauty. Review your daily schedule and habits. When and how do you attend to your spiritual center, and how does beauty “color” new life growing from that center? How do you balance intimacy with God’s Spirit with active ministries of discipleship? Prayerfully reflect and write about your need to learn “spirit-centered balance” that allows you to live as an oak of righteousness, a repairer of ruins in God’s world.
Today, God, I will start my day with a prayer centered on you and stay focused the rest of the day.