We taught our dog, Buddy, several of the usual commands: sit, stay, down, off, leave it, take it, roll over. But the most important command is focus. If when out for a walk I see something that might cause him to get unduly excited, I tell him to focus. Each time his eyes meet mine I say: “Yes!” Then when we are well beyond the stimulus he gets a biscuit.
Now by telling him to focus we usually can walk past a potential stimulus with him keeping his eyes on me.
Jesus has similar commands for us:
- Look at the birds of the air.
- Consider the lilies of the field.
- Do not worry.
- Do not be afraid.
- Love one another
- Forgive as you have been forgiven.
- Remember me.
- Follow me.
The world around us provides many distracting stimuli: bright shinny things to buy, debts to repay, malnutrition, health concerns, homelessness physical assault, untimely deaths, environmental disasters. When we keep our eyes on Jesus we can minister through distracting stimuli seeking the fulfillment of the Kingdom of Heaven.
I will have more to say about Matthew 6:24-33 at 8:15 AM or 10 AM on Sunday, February 19th at Temple Terrace Presbyterian Church.