Do you ever feel part of a grand detective adventure?
I have a great love for detective stories and adventures. From the famous Five and Nancey Drew to Midsomer Murders getting me through university revision to the plethora of films and stories that now fill my watchlist and to ‘Vera’, my new found favourite which in the last week I have gorged myself on whilst housesitting. I love the winding paths these stories take you on, picking up clues, putting down what is not useful and finally arriving at conclusion. it fits the iNtuition part of my ENFJ personality focusing on hidden meanings and patterns and possibilities in all I see! Except of course, when those patterns and meanings pertain to me.
A theme I have noticed time and time again in these stories is that of focus and distraction “we’ve been focussing on the wrong person” Vera says in one episode “We should have been focussing…”
A good detective recognises incorrect focus, removes distraction and focuses their attention.
Over the last month, I have been part of a detective story; clues have been left for me and often I have picked them up and stored them, but not explored them. In the last week, I have begun to explore them and found to my surprise, patterns and meanings that have appeared hidden to me. Hidden, because I have been distracted. This has led me to one conclusion; February is a month for Focus
It all started with an eye test (it probably started way before that but that’s where I know I picked up my first clue). I was back in for my ‘two year’s are up’ appointment. Since getting glasses, my eyes have not changed, this time they had. This meant an unexpected spend and glasses are not cheap! That was fine, but I’ve been focussed on saving money for one thing, and now I’ll have to wait longer, but patience they say, is a virtue.
However, just before I left the optometrist came to find me. When I had met her, she had not received the results of all the funny tests they make you do – now she had them and was concerned about one of them. The one where you need to focus on one spot – I’d ‘failed’ it. I have to go back and take it again and she wasn’t overly concerned but as I walked away I thought about how unfocused I had been during that exercise. It was uncomfortable, there was a massive spec of dust in the machine that I kept being distracted by and I was thinking about everything else I needed to do that day. It doesn’t surprise me that I failed it, I simply was not on task*.
That evening two nuggets of wisdom dropped into my lap. The first was @teaandbiscuits_x announcing her ‘No Spend February‘ challenge. At first, I was all in, but with the wrong motivation. I had just spent a lot of money and I wanted this ‘thing’ I have been saving for. I recognised this distraction and carved away at the motivation to find the truth. I listened again to her reasoning; it’s not about restriction but it was about focus. I am an eternal justifier when it comes to a little chocolate bar here, a new lipstick there. I don’t need it and as my gran used to say
“Take care of the pennies and the pounds will take care of themselves”
I recognised that I had become very mixed up in my relationship with finance. I was desperately dreaming of one thing, cross at God when I needed to spend out of that pot, fantasising of a wealthy life, then demanding He did something about it whilst spending little bits here and there to satisfy my boredom and discontent or emotional moment. I’m not meaning I was extravagantly throwing money away, but it’s these little things that add up; the pennies to the pounds. Yet this isn’t in the main about money, rather about being distracted.
The second nugget was through a conversation with a friend. A group of us meet once a month to eat together, share life stories and pray into each other’s lives. He shared how he had become aware of how saturated his mind was becoming with media, constantly having something on, and not allowing space for God’s voice. Not that these things are bad, just a hindrance that he needed at this time, to throw off. It must have stayed in the back of my mind, another clue to my story.
Then came the tweet, although clearly, there was a subconscious thinking penning a memorandum in my spirit.
The arrow was being drawn back! Before I even knew it my fingers tapped out “oooh I love this in, attached a cute gif and pressed send; I mean, I don’t even know this girl and I’m crashing her party (and hashtag). I grabbed my journal thoughts were beginning to spill out of my mind and I needed the paper to catch them, even in their unprocessed form.
I open my journal, there are bullet points and drawings of ideas and tasks I wanted to focus on in January. I’ll allow grace – some things have not been achieved because life didn’t pan out quite how my diary wanted in January (I love a good adventure though); yet some didn’t happen because I was distracted. I need to throw these things off. This isn’t about rules or restrictions but about correct priorities and focus. Then the thought that had sealed itself across my subconscious pushing forward into reality. I knew what needed to go.
The arrow drew back and finally hit the target, clues attached: Welcome to your adventure.
If that wasn’t enough as I caught up with my Bible readings this week it became apparent that the same message was drawing back my heart, and then came a significant verse from last year giving confirmation. Finally a personal email from Hannah at Seeking Harvest arrived, glueing together all I had been thinking. An adventure is coming, my adventure. I think I might even be a few pages in to the story, following clues, noticing the hidden patterns but to truly get the most out of this time I need to fully embrace the narrative. I’ve been focussing on the distraction. Time to focus on the correct priorities and goals. Here’s to February
*I am aware there is also the option that there is something wrong with my vision – I am open to that possibility but for now, this is a way God has caught my attention
Featured Photo by Stefan Cosma on Unsplash
Arrow photo by PaulSBarlow on Pixabay