First of all, I want to thank you all for your incredible response to, encouragement, and sharing of my post Things Never Unseen. Please continue to share it as this topic remains current in our society. In this dark world, it is my desire to live transparently, telling the story God has given me, to be a light to others and share truth.
Can we all agree our lives are loud? As I write this, the radio is playing in the background, the TV is blaring in the other room, but the baby monitor is blessedly quiet – so there’s that!
We are such an easily distracted people. Ask anyone and they are sure to mention how busy they are. And yes, many people are legitimately busy, but I often wonder how busy we would really be if we removed unnecessary distractions.
I will regularly wave the “distraction” flag when talking to friends about my prayer life and time in the Word. “I am so easily distracted” I will claim, certain I am an innocent victim to the enemy named Distraction.
Then, a few weeks ago at church, we were asked to write a few words describing how the leadership could be praying for us. Without giving it two seconds’ thought, I wrote these words: Let go of distraction. I stared at these four words thinking it was an odd statement. And suddenly I knew it threatened to clash with my victim mentality. Then I hear this:
You give distraction too much credit for controlling your life. YOU are the one who invites it in and holds on to it. You CHOOSE distraction! Don’t choose to live distracted. Choose to live.
Gulp. Dang. Swallow that for a second – if you can. While there are certainly unavoidable distractions in this life, to think that many of our so-called distractions are brought on by us should make us feel both free and empowered. We are not as powerless against our distractions as we sometimes feel and convince ourselves.
Who do we really think we are? We have complete and total access to the God of everything through Jesus Christ and yet we’re like: nah, I’d rather spend time on Facebook/Pinterest/Instagram/insert distraction of choice. And then at the end of the day we cry that we wish we had more time to spend with Him, but we’re just so “busy.” Then the sheer fact that He does not respond to our stupidity with repulsed indignation, but rather draws us with His love – seriously, why are we not tripping over ourselves to get on our knees?? “What is man, that you make so much of him, and that you set your heart on him” (Job 7:17 ESV)? Completely humbled.
In his work entitled Walden, Henry David Thoreau wrote, “I went to the woods because I wished to live deliberately, […] and not, when I came to die, discover that I had not lived.” Living in the woods may be a little on the extreme end of removing distractions, but oh to live deliberately! Deliberately building relationships, pouring into others, and growing closer to our Savior – no regrets, just a reckless abandonment for the glory of God!
God forbid we get to the end of our life only to realize we haven’t ever really lived. I just recently finished a book by Jean Fleming: Pursue the Intentional Life. Throughout the book, she refers to this life as “Phase 1.” She says, “I wonder what it would be like to stand before the Lord at the end of life and realize I missed His intention for Phase 1. What if only then did I see God-glorifying opportunities lost forever? I think on this and I’m startled; I can honor God with hope and faith, both so highly valued in God’s eyes, only in Phase 1.” We must live with eternity in mind.
In Joshua 24, Joshua is telling the Israelites they must make a choice between the Egyptian gods and the Lord God. He implores them, “Choose this day whom you will serve” (24:15). I think perhaps we would be wise to make that our daily line in the sand: choose this day whom you will serve. Will we willfully, determinedly serve God, or will we mindlessly serve our distractions, thus serving ourselves? The choice is ours. God help us to daily choose You!