Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Feeling Distracted

By Kristen Leigh Evensen
Does your mind ever feel full of jumbled puzzle pieces, just waiting to be put together?
I don't know about you, but there are seasons of life when I feel plain distracted. Just this morning, I was spending some time in quiet with the Lord--yet, there was hardly any quiet to find! And I am not talking about my home here; I am talking plainly about my own mind. I sat down in a still room to share time with God, and before I knew it, my mind was off to the races.

"What's my time schedule for this morning?"

"I forgot to make a note about that at work..."

"I wonder why my thoughts stray so easily."

There you have it. My mind. A jumbled field of puzzle pieces just waiting to be put together. Distracted. Influenced by the things of the world.

When all I want is for the heaven to fill my thoughts, and to have an intimate encounter with my Father.

How frustrating distraction can be! Read about Peter walking on the water in Matthew 14, and you will immediately respond, "Yes, I know that feeling." We read that Jesus comes to His disciples by walking on the water, through a storm:

28 Then Peter called to him, "Lord, if it’s really you, tell me to come to you, walking on the water."
29 "Yes, come," Jesus said.
So Peter went over the side of the boat and walked on the water toward Jesus. 30 But when he saw the strong wind and the waves, he was terrified and began to sink. "Save me, Lord!" he shouted.
31 Jesus immediately reached out and grabbed him. "You have so little faith," Jesus said. "Why did you doubt me?"

Notice that Peter takes his eyes off Jesus. As soon as he does, "he was terrified and began to sink". As I read this account, I couldn't help but wonder if I often feel so distracted because, ultimately, I am taking my eyes off Jesus.

Please don't get me wrong--we must go about our days, glorifying God in all the work, tasks and matters in which we partake. But when, during these busy days, our minds become distracted and tuned into the things of the world over the things of heaven--that is when the sinking begins.

The overwhelmed feelings. The crazed mindset. The wandering thoughts. So much so that "quiet time with Jesus" is no longer quiet--all because distraction has taken its toll.

I wonder how and why distraction tends to have its way in our lives. I think Jesus gives us an answer in verse 31: "You have so little faith...Why did you doubt Me?" We are only human, and our earthly lives do come with responsibilities. But just as Peter completely removed His gaze from Jesus during a tumuluous storm, so we easily lose sight of heavenly thoughts during the day-to-day.

Colossians 3:2 says, "Let heaven fill your thoughts." Oh, how I long for that! For heaven to completely take over our minds, ruling over distractions and refocusing us on eternity, and the One who really matters. What a leap of faith, to trust God as we look to Him, rather than the things of the world that tempt us to be distracted and unfocused. What a leap of faith, as we choose to trust Jesus, rather than our own abilities to get everything done perfectly.

Let us fill our thoughts with heaven! Let us fix our eyes on Jesus, as we walk through our days. Let us trust Him for every little thing, because He is good, faithful and true.

Jesus, how we long for the things of heaven to fill our thoughts today. We admit that we are too easily distracted by the world, that our minds wander, and that we shirk our time with You. But we need your help, Lord! Bear in us the fruit of self-control, that we would choose to stay our eyes on You. Teach us what is most important. Increase our faith, and lead us to You. You come to us, Your wonderful presence, and we want only to say "Yes!" and meet with You. You are magnificent, true, holy and faithful.


What distracts you the most? How do you focus on Jesus?

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