Daily Step – What is narrowing your focus today?


For everything has the potential of calling forth in us a deeper response to our life in God…

Or the opposite. 

And we have a hand in which way it goes.

I’ve mostly recovered from this pesky sinus infection I got late last week. The only remnant now is an annoying runny nose, and… well I’m tired. But maybe that’s partially just raising three boys in the summertime. 

At the beginning of the Spiritual Exercises, St. Ignatius includes an exercise called the First Principle and Foundation. It’s a short exercise, but a challenging one.

In it, Ignatius invites us to practice indifference. Not the kind of indifference that looks away or disregards or ignores. Instead, the kind of indifference that, when practiced, leads to growth and a deeper relationship with God.

There’s a classic line in the First Principle that gets me every time. It’s included in the call for indifference: “so we do not want health rather than sickness”. I mean… what? Come on Ignatius.

Isn’t that exactly my prayer right now?… I want health! I want my nose to stop running! God, I’m not asking much… just want to jump out of bed with the energy of a 20 year old (ok somehow this prayer got a little out of hand… reeling it back in now…)

So what exactly is Ignatius asking of me?

One thing I’ve noticed the last few days of being under the weather is that it is coloring everything else. I want so badly to be healthy again that I’m seeing everything through whatever is the exact opposite of rose-colored glasses. I’m letting my running nose become the primary thing and it’s affecting my perspective. 

I think that’s what Ignatius means when he challenges with words like “so we don’t want health rather than sickness”. He’s alerting us to  the damage we can do to relationship when we narrow our focus on the wrong things.

But oh just because I know Ignatius is right on this one, it doesn’t make it any easier.

This morning my prayer is for indifference- the kind that will shift my perspective beyond the temporal runny nose and onto the eternal relationship I want to form with God.

What is narrowing your focus today?

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2 Responses

  1. Katy says:

    I never understood that line from St Ignatius so thanks for the translation.

    Soooo get your post. Like you, I am eager to get a return to my former health. I normally get the skipping rope out each morning. I aim to swim at least once a week and shoot hoops in the park. 3 weeks ago I woke with vertigo and exercise, along with household chores fell by the wayside.
    I’m better than I was so hopefully will soon be back to ” normal”. So sick of my imagination scaring me to death??

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