Posted by Johnny Richards

I hate pain. I hate pain medicine worse. It really makes me sick on my stomach, and, it really knocks me out. When I had neck surgery in 2011, the doctor gave me pain medicine when I went home. I don’t remember a lot about it. However I do remember it made me really groggy. I could barely focus my eyes and felt best if I just closed my eyes. I just could not keep my focus with the medicine in my system.

We live in a world that, at times, seems hard to watch. It’s hard to watch the news. It’s hard to watch programs. At times, things are just hard to look at. The reason is because the world has gotten a bit chaotic. Don’t get me wrong, I still enjoy living and doing the things I do. It’s just that the world has become a little off center. For me, when things are not the way I feel, or hope, they should be, I become a little unnerved. I tend to wonder, “what is it going to take to get things back they way they should be?”

Because the world seems to be that way at times, the next four Sundays I am going to be talking about how we can stay focused, or how we can keep our focus in a chaotic world. When I was doing my residency in hospital chaplaincy, every morning the chaplains would meet in the hospital chapel and begin the day with a devotion, announcements and prayer. It was a way of centering ourselves for the day ahead. There were actually times when the person in charge would tell us to put our feet flat on the floor in front of us, put our hands in our laps, and close our eyes. We were then challenged to allow our minds to relax and put away the thoughts we were having and focus on the present time. As weird as it felt, it worked. There is something about just centering our lives and our hearts on the present time.

During the month of October, I want to help us center our lives on God. I am going to use the first four letters of the alphabet to help us focus and center our hearts and minds on what He wants us to be and do in our relationship with Him. We will be talking about abiding in Christ and also having communion; believing in Christ, calibrating our lives with Christ and discerning His direction for our lives. All of these things will help us focus on Him and keep us centered on the task at hand.

It’s really hard to serve God if we can’t focus on Him. It is really hard to focus on Him if we are consistently having the things of the world get in our way. So, as we worship in October, put your feet flat on the floor, place your hands in your lap, close your eyes, and focus on God. It is the only way to stay focused in a chaotic world. Until next week…

Peace and Blessings… Johnny