Saturday, April 23, 2016

Focused Attention

A few days after our granddaughter Ryen’s 2nd birthday she announced that her next birthday party was going to be Minnie Mouse.  Throughout the year, when she would see clothing, stickers, books, or pictures of Minnie, Ryen was quick to remember and talk about the theme of her party.  Cupcakes and balloons were to be the treats and décor.  Throughout the year, she never wavered about her desire for a Minnie Mouse celebration for her birthday.  Even when making and decorating cookies in their play kitchen, Minnie Mouse was the decoration on the cookies.

When Cousin Sarah went to Disney World for her birthday, she sent Ryen a picture of the “Real Minnie Mouse.”   As she looked at the picture on her daddy’s phone, Ryen was speechless.  But the silence soon turned to squeals of glee and jumping around in excitement.

As the preparation for the party continued, Minnie Mouse was the choice for the plates, napkins, balloons, and cupcakes.  Chad cut out Minnie Mouse ears out of wood, painted them along with a bow, and attached the ears to the fort for the Minnie Mouse Boutique.  (Older brother David was assured that the ears and Minnie Mouse banner that was sewn would not be permanent fixtures for the fort.)

The night before her party, Ryen wore her Minnie Mouse pajamas.  As she was getting ready for bed, we talked about her birthday party the next day.  Ryen shook with delight that the party was finally here.  The next morning, the Minnie Mouse tutu and bow were Ryen’s choice of dress for the long awaited celebration.  The party did not disappoint.

 These past weeks, I’ve wondered what my life would look like if my focused attention was consistently on Jesus like Ryen’s has been on Minnie Mouse.  I know He would be pleased that…

…I looked for ways He was at work at home, school, in the neighborhood, at church, and in our community
…my desire was to excitedly talk about Him when the opportunity arose
…sometimes I stood in awe of feeling His presence and seeing Him work
…I “dressed” the part of a Christ follower in my thoughts, actions, reactions, words, and deeds so that people saw a lover of Jesus when they looked at me
…when I saw Him at work, I joined in the “party”
…my mind’s attention and heart’s affections were always on Him 

 Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles. And let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us, fixing our eyes on Jesus, the pioneer and perfecter of faith. For the joy set before him he endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God. 
Hebrews 12:1-2 

Taste and see that the Lord is good; blessed is the one who takes refuge in him. 
Psalm 34:8

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