“Keep your eyes on the prize. That’s what you always tell me. Just focus and keep your eyes on the prize.” Caden kept repeating these lines to me as we walked down the aisles of the store. We were back-to-school shopping for Caden, but I couldn’t help to wander away every time I walked past something that caught my eye.
Caden, frustrated at the fact that we were not sticking to the plan we created in the car said to me, “You always tell me to keep my eyes on the prize and stay focus but you always get caught up looking at shoes (it’s my weakness), bags, clothes, make-up…” and he went on and on listed all the things that distracted me in the short time we were at the store.
What could I say? He was spot on in calling me out. I am guilty of setting a plan but allowing distractions to deter me from that plan. I would like to tell you that only happens when I’m out shopping and the sale racks are calling my name, but the truth is, this happens in every area of my life. I set a plan, begin working towards it, then I allow things and people to distract and eventually derail me from that plan. Notice I said, “I allow”. We can name and blame various sources for the distractions, but the truth is we have the power to let it become a distraction. We can choose how we respond to it. We make the choice to ignore it, move away from it or allow it to change our focus.
When I started this blog two years ago, I intended to post content weekly and it started out that way. Eventually, it became bi-weekly, then a few weeks apart, until I just stopped writing. It wasn’t because I didn’t have the content to write (I told you Caden is the gift that keeps on giving); I allowed my schedule, life happenings and fear to derail me from this plan. In full transparency, fear was the main cause. I was fearful of failure, that no one would read the blog. I was fearful of being judged for grammatical errors (I love writing but I hate proofreading). I was also in a place in my life where I was tired of putting in all this effort to bring my dreams to life only to encounter setbacks and disappointments.
During my shopping trip with Caden I was reminded that distractions are inevitable but how we respond to those distractions will ultimately determine our trajectory. At some point in his eight years of life I gave Caden that advice and on that day, he gave it back to me. Little did he know the lesson was bigger than our shopping trip. As Caden reminded me, I want to remind you to not allow life, people, things or even your fears to deter or derail you from your calling. And if you happen to lose focus, I encourage you to do the following:
PAUSE to acknowledge that you have lost focus.
REFLECT on the thing(s) that caused you to lose focus and why.
REMIND yourself of the task at hand and the importance of it.
COMMIT to getting back on track.
The journey to fulfilling your God-given purpose is a constant pursuit. Stay focused and keep your eyes on the prize.
Philippians 3:15-16 The Message (MSG)
So let’s keep focused on that goal, those of us who want everything God has for us. If any of you have something else in mind, something less than total commitment, God will clear your blurred vision—you’ll see it yet! Now that we’re on the right track, let’s stay on it.