Single Point of Focus
I recently took a photography class from one of the best fine art and commercial photographers in the world. The number one concept he shared with us is having a single point of focus in our photos. The idea is that every photo should have a single point of focus you guide the viewer’s eyes to. Through the use of focus, lighting, lines, and other elements, you direct them to what he termed “the payoff.” You don’t want to direct their eyes to nothing but to something. They should leave viewing your photo having found that point of focus (just one).
I thought later about how our lives should have a single point of focus. As followers of Jesus Christ, He should be that single point of focus.
Therefore, since we have so great a cloud of witnesses surrounding us, let us also lay aside every encumbrance and the sin which so easily entangles us, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, 2 [a]fixing our eyes on Jesus, the [b]author and perfecter of faith, who for the joy set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and has sat down at the right hand of the throne of God. (Hebrews 12:1-2) emphasis added
Notice we are told to fix our eyes on Jesus. If we are to run “with endurance the race that is set before us” then we are to fix our eyes on Jesus. Long distance, open-water swimmers, always pick a point on the opposite shore of horizon to use as their single point of focus. Every few strokes they glance up and check their location relative to that single point of focus. If they are a little off, they correct course. For that to work that single point of focus has to be fixed, constant, unchanging. It does no good to pick a point that might move because if it does you will move off course following it.
8 Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today and forever. (Hewbrews 13:8)
Talk about a fixed point! Jesus never changes. He is the one point we can fix our eyes on with perfect confidence.
17Because God wanted to make the unchanging nature of his purpose very clear to the heirs of what was promised, he confirmed it with an oath. 18God did this so that, by two unchangeable things in which it is impossible for God to lie, we who have fled to take hold of the hope set before us may be greatly encouraged. 19We have this hope as an anchor for the soul, firm and secure. (Hebrews 6:17-19) emphasis added
This verse goes on to say how Jesus has gone into the inner sanctuary for us. Our hope in Him is an “anchor for the soul.” Again, we see the idea of having a single point of focus or an anchor. Things that fix us to one location.
Fixing our eyes on Jesus, keeps us on course, but as we follow Jesus our lives become an element in God’s “picture” to lead others to Christ. We might be a guiding element in the “photo” of someone else’s life.
1And you should imitate me, just as I imitate Christ. (1 Corinthians 11:1)
We should strive to be like Paul, who urged his followers to imitate him as he imitated Christ. When we fix our eyes on Jesus, we become imitators of Christ. As such we can point others to Christ.
What then is the focus of your life? Does it have a single focus?
If any of you lacks wisdom, you should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to you. 6But when you ask, you must believe and not doubt, because the one who doubts is like a wave of the sea, blown and tossed by the wind. 7That person should not expect to receive anything from the Lord. 8Such a person is double-minded and unstable in all they do. (James 1:5-8) emphasis added
Notice what happens when we have more than one point of focus. We become double-minded and Scripture says such a person is “unstable in all they do.” Hardly seems like a good recipe for life. We need to be single-minded. We need to have a single point of focus.
Just as a good picture should have a single point of focus, so should a godly life.