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Committed to one focus

Lord, who shall dwell [temporarily] in Your tabernacle? Who shall dwell [permanently] on Your holy hill? He who walks and lives uprightly and blamelessly, who works rightness and justice and speaks and thinks the truth in his heart... (Psalm 15:1-2)

Men and women of understanding know there is a time and place for everything. The events of today prepare us for those of tomorrow. We may not always see clearly today what tomorrow holds, but we do know if we conduct our affairs to the best of our ability today, listening intently to the voice of God as we do, we will be in a better position for what tomorrow brings. Most of us think of living 'uprightly' as being in line with what is right, but it also means being directed vertically. In a spiritual sense, we are to conduct our "business" of today - directed vertically, upward in our focus. The opening statement of this psalm causes us to consider two aspects of our walk - the here and now, and the future state of our existence. The here and now is temporary - the future is permanent. The question - who gets to commune with the Holy God? The answer - those who walk blamelessly (upright). 

There is evidence in the life of the one who actually walks in an upright manner - things like being just, speaking and thinking truth in his/her heart. Walk above the defilement of this present day. This may seem difficult to some, but I believe it is possible when we keep our focus "vertical". If we stop viewing things from the "horizontal" perspective, we begin to see them differently. When we are "horizontal" in our focus, we see others, often comparing our actions to theirs. We get wrapped up in the "littleness" of today's demands and forget to maintain the perspective of one who is on mission for Jesus. "Vertical" focus provides a framework for living in this world without being overcome by its pulls.

Stand up where you are right now. Look around the room or place you are standing while maintaining a focus which is at eye level (don't raise or lower your head). What do you see? I am in my den, so I see computer, computer desk, bookshelf, a small table, and the window looking outside. Now, look up. What do you see now? How much of what you saw when you were just focusing on a "horizontal" level do you still have in your view? Some of it, right? Yet, it is less than you had before. On a "horizontal" level, we tend to look as far as our eye can see from the ground up to about a foot over our eye level. Turn your eyes upward and the possibilities of focus are vastly different. If you are able, climb up on a step stool for a moment in your same room. Now, look horizontally again - what changed? Your perspective is affected by where you are standing, is it not? The same is true in a spiritual sense. Where we are "standing" at the moment creates a vantage point for a variety of different perspectives.

From the step stool vantage point, you might see some spots you haven't dusted in a while, or perhaps a little cobweb gathering in the corner of the ceiling. Maybe you look down and see just how cluttered your "space" really is. Vantage point is important, isn't it? This is why God doesn't want his kids just living continually on the horizontal level. He knows we see a whole lot of obstacles and impossibilities on that level! When we take our eyes off the obstacles and begin to anchor them vertically on him, the obstacles are no longer in our view. The "clutter" doesn't get us all muddled up and unable to see beyond the mess we are in. Instead, we can sort out some things and see them in an entirely new perspective.  Perspective helps us "right size" our life's challenges. Maintaining an upright focus is key to getting right perspective. Uprightness is merely determining where our focus will be and maintaining it regardless of the pull to do otherwise. Just sayin!

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