Change of Focus/Change of Tune

I woke up. That’s a good thing. It has happened every day for quite a few years now, with the exception of a little snafu back in 2017 when I took a few days off. But that was then. I woke up today. It’s always a slow process. The fastest part of this molasses-like process is the ridiculous brain spinning up. Eventually it drags the rest of my being into action.  Last is the body.

My spirit groans within me. Then it calls the voice to join in. Uggghhh. The rest of the body provides the background music to the melancholy morning chorus. I do not feel refreshed, I feel that I’ve been through the wars. Such is the morning battle rhythm. Do you suppose that, perhaps, it’s the other way around? The body plays lead and the rest follows? Maybe so. It does tend to raise a ruckus.  But no. Not today. My spirit groans within me.

“But you, man of God, you’re supposed to be the joy guy!” (Why in the world did I make that word my refrain!? Who can live up to that?). “Come on, man, pull yourself together! Get up! Put that ice-cold socket liner on that stump, put your leg on, and get out of bed!”

No, but wait. Should I start the day like this? Reveille is for the military. Darn bugles. Fake ones at that. No, if I get up now, all that swirls in my brain will be suppressed – uselessly muted. Instead, I need to change the focus and start the day with some contemplation and some Godly things.

My mind fills with the pain of someone I love. This is so grave, it can only add to the physical pain, mental mayhem, lamentation, and spiritual groaning. Oh, my soul. This must not be supressed, but I need a different perspective to be healthy all around. Listen to a podcast, yes, just a short devotional. It says:

 “Set your minds on things that are above, not on things that are on earth.” I’ve always seen that verse as a charge to not have our hearts set on worldly things, getting bogged down in sinful or unhelpful things. That is true and it seems to be in context of Paul’s writing in Colossians chapter three. Today, though, there’s something new to think about. It reminds me of another thought:

“And let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us, fixing our eyes on Jesus, the pioneer and perfecter of faith. For the joy set before him he endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.” I chose the NIV here because it doesn’t say looking, like many translations do. It’s easy to look, but fixing our eyes is another matter altogether.

Fix your eyes, man of God. Not on the pain of others, or your own. Fix them steadfastly on things above, which include our magnificent Saviour who did a similar thing: he endured the cross for the joy set before him.

So, I change my tune. From the morose morning melody to the joyful refrain of a different kind. This is a subtle change, and it doesn’t feel a lot different sometimes. But in my deepmost parts I know it’s there. God has not yet wiped every tear or healed every pain, but he will. Meanwhile he knows them and has felt them himself. So, I sit, sorrowful, yet always rejoicing (2 Corinthians 6:10), mourning with those who mourn (Romans 12:15).

I have joy and have known it since that little snafu. I just feel pain at the same time. Let us sing the right tune. Let us look to the right place, not forgetting the pain of others, but not letting it consume us.


  1. Kathy Lucier says:


    Liked by 1 person

  2. Rob Clark says:

    Oh dear brother how many of the saints of old have gone through the long dark night of the soul only for the dawn to break and the sun(Son) light up the seemingly never ending darkness. Share this with others. God allows us to go through the time of testing when He can help others through our experiences.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Russ says:

      I did share this on Facebook and with Open House. You can share it in your circles, by all means.
      On another note, this new tune was put to the test immediately and I felt my brain would explode – just hours after writing this!


  3. jesusluvsall says:

    I wake up very slowly every morning. It takes me an hour or so of time listening to worship music and drinking coffee to prepare for my day.

    Having been through many trials in life, I can relate to your post.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Russ says:

      Thanks for reading! If someone can relate to a post, it’s very encouraging. I always hope someone can be encouraged by my experience and can see things in a new light.

      Liked by 1 person

  4. ruthleigh says:

    This is the most beautiful and powerful piece, Russ. Thank you


Leave a Comment

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s