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Focus Your Focus
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My grandmother used to tell me, “Omar, an idle mind is the workplace of the devil!” Of course, this meant that for ADD me, if I wasn’t doing some kind of chore my grandmother wanted me to do . . . I found something naughty to do. Well, my grandmother was right about my propensity to get into trouble, but recent research shows that some idle time may be healthy!

Downtime is important because it gives people time to think about or reflect on the things they’ve done, said, and thought during the day--time to be still and rest their brains. Researchers, believe that when the brain is in this default “idle” mode (almost like a car that’s on but not moving), it provides valuable time to think about life. That downtime is crucial, and distractions, such as any kind of non-stop use of electronic devices, can keep it from happening like it needs to. But what’s happening more and more in this hurried, crazy-busy world is that we’re all too busy, and if we’re taking away those little vacations of quietness and stillness in a sea of going-ness, well, the results aren’t good.

So what’s the answer? Long ago, God knew we would have this problem and His prescription is surprisingly quite simple: “Be still, and know that I am God . . .” (Psalm 46:10, NIV).

Downtime

How do you practically live that out? Well, the first thing that needs to happen is that we need to make time to do . . . nothing! It’s important that we schedule downtime. Set a time you’ll put the cell phone down, get off the computer, and turn off the TV, MP3 player, or whatever electronic or other thing you’re connected to. Once we’re still, we can meditate on connecting with God and what He means to us. Don’t freak out, God invented meditation. Satan took it and twisted it into what we see in today’s martial arts and movies, such as the Star Wars blockbusters (“Luke, empty your mind . . . stretch out your feelings”), but the original purpose of meditation God’s way is medication.


The right kind of focus is medicine for our souls and heals us from the damage that this world does to us. God’s meditation isn’t about emptying your mind, but instead about filling it with the right thing by choosing to focus your “focus” on God and all that He is. David says in Psalm 119:55, “Even in the night I think about you, Lord, and I obey your Law” (CEV). Later on in this chapter, he again exclaims, “I deeply love your Law! I think about it all day. Your laws never leave my mind . . .” (verses 97-98, CEV).

Whether you choose to give your mind a break and let it “idle,” or actively focus your mind on God’s Word during your downtime, I know you’ll be rewarded with choosing to live a life that is healthy, balanced and focused on loving Him more, knowing Him better, and living Him out for our world to see.

So what are you waiting for? Get started . . . on stopping!

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By Omar Miranda. Copyright © 2014 by GraceNotes. All rights reserved. Use of this material is subject to usage guidelines. Scripture taken from the NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION ® and the CONTEMPORARY ENGLISH VERSION ©.


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