A few years ago, my place of employment implemented a new reporting tool. It wreaked havoc on our teams and was the cause of much distress. It did, however, show our managers that some employees were not using their time wisely. It made us all a nervous wreck, even though my job was getting completed. I was constantly thinking about my time reports: “I don’t want to be idle too long”, “I really need to get those towels out of the washer, but…”, “I’ll call them later”.
Anxiety. Run. Amuck.
Like a broken record, our supervisors told us one major thing: if we had any distractions in our offices, to please remove them. I, for one, am easily distracted, so I don’t routinely play music or have something else in front of me. Quiet allows me to concentrate on my work, but it also eventually makes me sleepy. So then the music comes on, or a TV show or movie I have watched before (so I don’t get stuck watching to see what will happen).
Shortly before the reporting system was implemented came my biggest “distraction”. When Rebekah was born, I took 8 weeks off from work. At the end of my leave, I returned to work (full-time from home) and decided to keep Rebekah with me; it would be fine, I said.
And at first, it was.
She slept most of the time, and I worked just like I always had. Then she started rolling. And crawling. And not sleeping as much. And demanding more attention. At first, that was okay, too.
Until the new reporting system was installed. And I had idle time even though I was still getting my work done. Then I started making mistakes. Mistakes I shouldn’t have made. Easy things that made me kick myself.
Isn’t that just like the Christian life?
We go along, everything’s fine. We’re reading our Bible, going to church, taking care of business. We’re focused. We love God, we love our family, we love our church. Then something happens or we get bored. We come up with something else we can do, or that thing that happened takes our focus.
And you can guess what happens then.
At first, it’s ok. We still do what we need to do. The job gets done.
Then that thing takes more attention. We find more and more things coming into our lives that distract us.
And we start having idle time. Those distractions take our time away from God’s Word. Time away from church. Time away from prayer. Time away from our families.
And we start making mistakes. Tempers flare. We don’t take care of our bodies (the temple of God) like we should. We lose our joy.
Isn’t that just like the devil? He knows exactly what distracts us. He wants us to get our minds off what is really important, so we are not as valuable in the Kingdom work.
Now, here’s what’s hard…REMOVE THE DISTRACTIONS! PLEASE!
When Rebekah got to the point that she needed my full attention and I was making too many errors in my work, I knew I had to do something different.
When you get to the point in life that those distractions are wreaking havoc, the Holy Spirit should be giving you major alerts to do something different. Figure out what it is that started distracting you. Whatever that means. That is so hard, because in our society, it seems odd to go back to the basics.
But in reality, it means depending solely on God and having faith in His plan. Asking God for wisdom in choosing those things that are best for us. Maybe the distraction is what we should be focusing on. Or maybe something else needs to go.
Those distractions – are they are trying to capture your attention away from God? That problem – is it trying to take control?
Bring it to the Lord. Trust Him with it.
You see, I get so weary. So faint when I try to do so much. This life isn’t going to get easier. God is not miraculously going to take away the problems. Because of Jesus, we can face these things. He will help us get rid of the distractions, and our faith will be strengthened when we focus on Him.
“Casting down imaginations, and every high thing that exalts itself against the knowledge of God, and bringing into captivity every thought to the obedience of Christ;” 2 Corinthians 10:5 (NKJV)