Word for 2016: Focus

Vantage Points

I did not want this to be my word. It was very annoying because whenever I tried to think of one, focus was always the first to pop up.

“Seriously? There are so many other words. I can think of a better word than that.”

After a solid week of trying to come up with a “better word,” I asked my mom in desperation for a suggestion. She thought for a moment and said,


Yep. And so, here I am.

Perseverance was my word last year. I actually didn’t want that word either, but ironically, I can’t think of a more perfect word to describe 2015. It was a brutal, blood-soaked battle, or like climbing a massive mountain. Without perseverance, I promise you, I never would have made it here.

But that’s another story for another time. It’s time to focus on 2016. (pun intended).

Let’s start by flipping to the dictionary definition.FOCUS

Focus (v): to be or become focused; to direct one’s attention or efforts.

Well, that’s pretty self explanatory. Everyone knows what it means to focus, right? We try to focus all the time. Typically it starts when we realize we have procrastinated way too long on the paper due at 8 a.m. the next morning. I’ve definitely been there.

But here’s the dilemma: it’s become harder to focus. Researchers say we have shorter attention spans than a goldfish. I’m not even joking; this is a fact. With the increasing speed of technology our minds are constantly trashed with garbage bags of clutter. It seems like everyone is begging for our (very short) attention.

Speaking of attention, where do you put yours?

Do you focus on impressing boys with your body or impressing your parents with your grades? Do you focus on earning money or earning a degree? Do you focus on how much clothes you have or how many ‘likes’ you get on Instagram? Do you focus on the next party or the next exam? Do you focus on your past mistakes or the unpredictable future?

You see, I don’t think focusing is as important as what we are focusing on. 

So then the question is, “What should we focus on?”

Here’s the answer,

-Summing it all up, friends, I’d say you’ll do best by filling your minds and meditating on things true, noble, reputable, authentic, compelling, gracious—the best, not the worst; the beautiful, not the ugly; things to praise, not thi.jpg

When we focus our minds on these things, God says he will make everything work together. However, God’s way of making everything work together might not be our way. And darling, that might mean there will be another mountain we have to climb. It might be rocky and steep. It might beat you down and leave you with scars. But we are going to focus on the beautiful, the best, the noble, and the true on the way up. And then, when the climb is over and we get to the top, we will see that God saved us from a flood in the valley below.

Let’s make 2016 the best year of our lives so far–an excellent harmony. If we focus on the beautiful and continue persevering, I think the view from the mountain top is going to look pretty spectacular.  

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