Have you ever been too busy to even recognize when you’ve blown it?
I have, and more often than I care to share here. There are times in life when we become so focused on what we want, everything around us that is often times equally important seem to disappear. This happens when your brain is challenged with such immediate focus that it tunes out the (peripheral) things outside of that focus. It simply stops “seeing” the things that you’re not focused on.
Here’s an exercise for you that will prove my point.
In just a second, look at the image of the heart below and begin to focus on the “+” symbol directly in the center of the heart. I chose this image because of it’s significance to this post.
I have been guilty of focusing so intently on certain tasks and events that I temporarily lost sight of some of the people around me that I deeply love and care for. When my focus becomes hijacked, the ministries that make up the big picture of CLC begin to simply disappear from my vision. As a pastor, this must be battled. Never lose sight of those around you that make up your support, your ministry and your family.
Ok, back to the illustration…
Notice the heart in the image below. Now I’m going to hijack your focus! Begin to stare at the “+” symbol in the center of the heart. Remember, the heart represents everything you love and care for. The “+” symbol represents a specific task, event or desire. As you stare at the “+” symbol, notice what happens to the heart.
If you’re like me, as you focused on the “+” symbol, the heart began to disappear entirely. Don’t worry, this is normal for most people. It’s not you deciding to ignore the heart, it’s your brain being hijacked by a different focus. When I asked you to stare at the “+” symbol, your brain processed a message that said the “+” symbol needed your attention. When that message in your brain was processed, it automatically stopped noticing the dots in your peripheral vision that made up the heart. Trust me, the heart never disappeared, your brain simply stopped seeing it.
Now that you know what’s going on, try it again…
Did you focus on the “+” symbol?
HA! Even when you know what’s happening, your brain is wired to turn your peripheral vision off when you intently focus on something else.
The way to battle this…
Though your focus point may be important, always take time to take a look at what’s around that focus point. Simply glancing over here or there will make that heart literally pop out at you. Don’t believe me? Try it again and this time, just glance at any part of the heart every few seconds.
Did you do it?
What’s interesting is how you glance at one dot in the heart and the entire heart reappears. The entire heart will NEVER disappear if you take the time to notice even one dot that makes up this heart every so often.
And now the apology…
All my life, I have had a tendency to give 110% to everything I do. This requires incredible focus at times and consequently there are peripheral items in my life that get overlooked unintentionally. These oversights could include tasks, events, information and even people. This could explain why I believe I have the worst memory in the world. Because at the time I’m gathering information on “A”, I’m focused on “A”. But the moment I focus on “B”, “A” becomes peripheral and falls victim to my brain completely losing sight of it. Sad, I know.
This bit of understanding has brought me to my knees. Although I am ecstatic about what God is doing in our church, and though I feel like our church has made a great impact on our community this year, I have recently discovered that the solid dots that make up the heart of LOVE & SUPPORT around me have been overlooked. Even if but for a fleeting moment, it’s often enough to cause significant damage. And I thank God right now for His grace that abounds.
Connection Life Church exists to serve and build the Kingdom of God through connecting upward, inward and outward. As the pastor of CLC, I couldn’t be more proud of our team of leaders, support volunteers and members. Many of you reading this post right now are the solid dots that support the vision (focus) that God has given me and this house. Lately, I’ve allowed my brain to overlook some of you as I focused on the task at hand. I want to apologize.
I don’t have to name any names here because I believe you know who you are. And let me say, I’m sure there are more than I even realize. I sincerely apologize to you if you’ve ever felt overlooked. As your pastor, I care for you deeply and each one of you are in my prayers daily. Kristie and I value you as a member of our church, fellow laborer for Christ and our personal friend. It breaks my heart to even think I may have hurt you or disappointed you in any way.
The little explanation and illustration above is not at all an excuse, just a revelation of how God OPENED my eyes to see the heart again! I have been challenged by God to make time to notice the “dots” or the people that make up the “heart” of CLC. We have great vision here at CLC that will require intense focus, but amidst the focus, I will be making a much greater effort to take the time to notice the “dots”.
Please forgive your pastor and know that you are greatly loved! We’re in this together and we have much work to accomplish. If you’ve ever felt or begin to feel like I’ve lost site of you, please march directly to my “+” symbol, raise your hands in the air and wave them like you just don’t care. Sometimes I need some assistance keeping a visual on my peripheral. 🙂
Thank you for taking the time to read this and again, please accept my most sincere apologies. I look forward to working with each and everyone of you for years and years to come.
Your Pastor & Friend,
Kevin Truett – Lead Pastor
Connection Life Church