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Focus: the center of interest or activity; pay particular attention to

What’s your focus?

In my mind I picture a camera. Not an iPhone, not an Android; an actual, professional camera.

The lens makes a faint whirring noise as it struggles to focus on the object of the photographer’s interest.

The lens moves in and out, and the images on the screen appear blurry before the handler.

Then, finally, the image clears. The focus of the camera is where the photographer intended. She snaps a photo. Then a couple more for good measure. She looks at the final product and smiles. The work was worth it. The picture is amazing.

I’m not a professional photographer, which you can probably guess from my informal and improper use of technical terms in the above imagery. But, as a reporter, I often found myself using a camera to capture moments to go to print.

In my time as a reporter, I used several different cameras. But there was this one particular one that I hated to use. I did all I could to avoid using this one, because when I would go to take a picture — if I didn’t hit the button just right — the picture would go out of focus. My screen would go all blurry from the lack of focus. And I either missed my shot or annoyed the subjects (and embarrassed myself). 

This was incredibly irritating to me. I would have to press the button over and over just to get the right focus, and then carefully press it again to take the shot. It took a lot of work just to get the picture.

But sometimes, that’s exactly what needs to be done.

If we want the perfect shot (or selfie; let’s be honest), we’re going to have to put some work into it. You need the right lighting, the right angle, and the right focus. 

If you’re taking a portrait of someone, but the focus is on a tree in the background, that person might not be so happy.

We have to focus our vision on what we want the final product to be. For example, if we want a pretty picture of a lake, the focus has to be on the lake — not a tree.

Just the same: if we want a strong relationship with God, our focus has to be on Him — not the world or our selfish desires.

If our focus is not on God, our vision will get blurry and we’ll no longer know what the subject of the picture is. We won’t know what the point is. And the picture will be worth nothing in the end.

So this week I encourage you to look into your lens and see what your life looks like. Is it blurry? Is the focus on the wrong thing? Or is it picture-worthy?

Evaluate and act accordingly. Don’t be afraid to put the work in. Because when you finish and you look at the final product, you’ll be glad that you did.

Maddisen Sauls is the smile and voice behind the Everyday Joy blog as well as the author of the Word of the Week posts and the editor of by leaps and bounds. Throughout her life, Maddisen has worked as a reporter for small town newspapers, a School Age and Preschool teacher, and has acquired her ministerial license. 

An avid book reader and lover of the written word, Maddisen is passionate about using her favorite medium to reach the lost and the hurting, and to offer encouragement and hope to those struggling through life. 

Following her battle with depression, Maddisen has made it her mission to help other people through this journey and to bring joy to the lives of the people around her. 

You can find Maddisen on Instagram @maddisen.paige

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