But Dad, It's Just Out Of Focus!

All you have to do is twist this little knob.

by Lura Langenback

© 02/07/02

When I was a kid and a television FINALLY came into our house ('awwww Dad, EVERYONE has one already. When are we going to have one too?'), I would sit in front of it for hours soaking up the moral lessons from the Beeve, Fury, the Lone Ranger and others (does anyone remember Sky King?). Needless to say, I learned a lot about the workings of that television mostly unbeknownst to my Dad since he had already decided that little girls could not possibly know anything about such an intricate instrument as the television.

My father was always a 'Mr. Fixit' type and when something went wrong with the tv just in time for us to watch Huckleberry Hound (yes, I am that old and yes, it was DAD'S favorite show), he would go get the mirror and take the back off the set. I hated these times because invariably it would take him hours to work on it. The mirror, in case you are one of the uninitiated, was so that he did not have to ask anyone else what the picture looked like inasmuch as he never got the answer he wanted and always ended up getting up to see for himself anyway.

When adjustments didn't appear to work, it was time to test the tubes. Tube after tube would suffer it's fate, being yanked out of place, marked like the transgressor it was, and put in a box. This type of 'fix-it' could only mean one thing. The televison viewing was over until at least tomorrow night when Dad would come home with the new tubes after having tested all of them to find the culprit. Then supper would almost always wait while he fit the tubes back in place, all in their little marked cubby holes. Of course, that rarely did the whole job. The mirror would come out again and it would take time to focus..... and focus and focus.

I remember one time that the only thing wrong was the focus but out came the tubes and down he trudged to the place that had the tester. The next night when he got home, got out the mirror, took the back off the set and began the task of putting all the tubes back into the set only to find that it had not been fixed at all, I meekly mentioned to Dad that it simply needed to be adjusted. In an attitude that said again how little girls could not possibly know such big person things, he disregarded what I said. But see? I had learned a couple of new technical terms. Adjusted and focus, in case you were not paying attention. After Dad had puttered around for what seemed like hours, I asked him if I could just turn one little knob. Exasperated at not getting things right, he allowed me the priviledge of touching the set while he was working on it. The picture came in beautifully, at least for then. My Dad was so mad!

It was a life lesson for me. Two things. 1) do not touch the tv when Dad is working on it nor give any timely tips on how to fix it.......and 2) sometimes we do not need all the big fixes, just a small focus change.

I have come to the conclusion that more often than not, we are trying so hard to climb back up onto the path God has for us that we totally miss the fact that we are simply a tad out of focus. All we would have to do is refocus on what God wants, leaving our own wants alone for a time. When that picture becomes clear to us, we are on our way. Paul told us that he left everything behind in order to press toward the mark for the prize of the high call in Jesus Christ. (Phil. 3:14) Is there any doubt that Paul was strictly focused on Jesus? No. If this isn't where you are, perhaps all you need is a little focus adjustment.
If you are not sure that you know the Lord Jesus or have never asked Jesus into your heart, now is the best time in the world. Do not wait, thinking about it until later. There may not be a later. If you do know Jesus but are not walking the path you should, please talk to the Lord today. He is waiting for you right where you left off. Isn't that incredibly comforting?