This world is distracting. When I pray that I only want to be used by God for the intended purposes of my life, I mean that. Then I open my eyes to the list of emails, phone calls, ministry needs, etc. It is so easy to get sunk in the mire. I have been talking about this intentional living business, and goal setting has been a major deal, lately.
My husband and I have redesigned this blog and we are incorporating all of this design into my new prayer journal and organizer that I am developing, thank you Donna Otto and my husband/designer. It is really quite a task, but well worth it. I am inspired from some of the books that I have listed (for the non-techy people, see the side bar and scroll down). The reason that I am doing this is because I have bought expensive systems to manage my time, but they did not meet all of my needs. Donna made her own. Does that seem like a brilliant idea? Well, it did to me. My husband, at my request, is now making my own organizer and prayer journal that manages all of my demands, and, bonus…it is cheaper.
A man that I admire gave me a very useful tool to deal with distraction in prayer life. He said not to panic when distractions enter your mind. Every time that you return your thoughts to God, it is an act of worship. This was just in prayer. Imagine every moment of the day when our thoughts get caught up in the details of life, and instead of beating ourselves up with straying from His direction we consider it an act of worship to return to His side.
We are guaranteed to stray away, otherwise why would we need the bible? If we all were constantly focused on Him, it would be, well...heaven. It is not. It is the world. Give yourself a break today.
If you need a stronger tool, just look at who we do serve. Matthew 4:18-22, talks about the calling of the first four disciples.
“As he walked by the Sea of Galilee, he saw two brothers, Simon, who is called Peter, and Andrew his brother, casting a net into the sea—for they were fishermen. And he said to them, “Follow me, and I will make you fish for people.” Immediately they left their nets and followed him. As he went from there, he saw two other brothers, James son of Zebedee and his brother John, in the boat with their father Zebedee, mending their nets, and he called them. Immediately they left the boat and their father, and followed him.”
Imagine, not hearing from your husband all day and finding out that he had gone to follow a guy named Jesus; interesting times on the home front. What if you were Zebedee and just watched your bread and butter, and offspring walk away from your boat? Talk about distractions.
There is something about this man, though - the woman at the well, the Pharisees wanting to stone the adulteress, the guys who fish and became the pillars of the early church. What is it that makes people leave everything and go for Him? Why would we bother to call the church our family? There is something about Jesus.
He says, “Come to me”, and we come. We can’t put a finger on Him. Maybe that is what makes Him so exciting, He is unpredictable. He is also gentle and kind. He loves us more than we can imagine. Your parents, your husband, your mouthy kids…none of them love you like He does.
One of the biggest struggles that I have encountered is letting God love me in an unpredictable way, His way; one that can only exist if He was responsible for knitting me together in my mother’s womb (Psalm 139). This was foreign to me. I thought that I would just sign up for Christianity and obey my way into heaven.
I used to get uncomfortable when someone touched me as they tried to squeeze around me in a crowded room. Letting God, unabashedly, pour out his endless love on me, in exactly the way that meets all of my needs, is a skill that I had to learn.
I had to put my arms at my sides and raise my face to Him…and just sit under the fire hose. It feels like that because it knocks you over with its new texture and taste. It is different from other types of love…overwhelming and satisfying.
This is who we are turning back to, when we say, “Nothing is more important than you. I want for you to take every thought captive. Do with me what you will. I am safe today under your love”. Leaving everything, on our “to do” list, to think of Him is a lot easier than leaving everything to follow Him. So, baby steps today. Let’s turn our thoughts to Him.
Father, thank you for desiring our mental presence with you. Thank you for loving us in a way that we cannot understand. Place in us the desire to return our thoughts to you today. Let us sit with you in the peace of your love.