Gina Moore

My eyeliner pencil is often worn to a hard-to-use nub and needs sharpening.

Knowing I should take a little extra time to find the sharpener so it will be ready and effective the next morning, I often just hurriedly toss it back into my makeup bag. And so the cycle continues. Sound familiar on many levels? Knowing and doing … sigh.

It seems like it comes in waves, doesn’t it?

From car problems to appliance issues to all sorts of things needing “maintenance” (even our health), it’s something all the time. Something to do. Something to take care of. Something to fix. Something to clean up. Something to replace. Something to pay for.

Yep, we’re out of milk and toilet paper again. Those burned out light bulbs sure make it hard to see … hard to function, don’t they?

And must we really face all those bills that lurk in our January mailboxes?

Tempts me to be like an ostrich and bury my head in the sand.

Maybe it doesn’t have to come in waves, or at least maybe those waves don’t have to knock us down.

Maybe we can pull our heads from the sands of distraction and face the new decade committed to being more proactive, more prepared.

Maybe we can pause and sharpen our focus as this new year unfolds. After all, this is 2020 … so what a perfect time to strive for 20/20 vision (at least)!

So, how do we sharpen our focus?

At the end of December, someone asked me if I had made my new year’s resolutions? (Yes, they used plural!)

I lowered my eyes, quietly admitting that although I had not officially “resolved” to do anything, I knew what I needed to do. For 20/20 vision (or better), I know I need to take the time and effort to “sharpen my pencil” through spending more quiet time with God.

That’s the key for me. Time spent in prayer, bible study and meditation sharpens me. Much like my eyeliner pencil, when I have been sharpened, I more effectively fulfill my purpose … God’s purpose for my life.

“For the word of God is alive and active. Sharper than any double-edge sword, it penetrates even to dividing soul and spirit, joints and marrow; it judges the thoughts and attitudes of the heart.” (Hebrews 4:12)

When I choose to roll over and pull the covers over my head instead of dedicating quiet time to God, or when I choose to give over that time to distractions such as social media, television, etc., I am in effect tossing my blunt nub of an eyeliner pencil right back into my makeup bag.

And no surprise, a worn down nub doesn’t define my eyes or my perspective very well. Soon, smudged, blurred lines result – not a pretty vision. Not God’s vision for me either.

I want God to sharpen me by peeling away layers of unneeded “stuff” so he can shape me for his purposes.

“The Art of Racing in the Rain,” a movie my daughter and I enjoyed recently, had a good analogy: “In racing, they say that your car goes where your eyes go. The driver who cannot tear his eyes away from the wall as he spins out of control will meet that wall; the driver who looks down the track as he feels his tires break free will regain control of his vehicle.”

As we kick off this new year, may we take the time to sharpen our focus.

May we not run from words such as resolve, commitment, discipline, and obedience. May we turn knowing into doing. May we quiet the distractions and focus on God’s will for our lives.

May this be a year of clear vision and effective service. May we “run with perseverance the race marked out for us, fixing our eyes on Jesus, the pioneer and perfecter of faith.” (Hebrews 12:1-2)

Gina Moore, a news-editorial journalism major, has operated Marketplace Consignment Sale for 25 years and has worked part-time at Treasures. She also enjoys country cooking, reading and writing about motherhood, life on the farm and how God’s love and lessons surround residents.

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