I don’t think it’s any coincidence that just hours before I’d planned to start writing this post on distractions, I was in a funk, wondering what’s the point of all this writing and blogging stuff. Am I making a difference? Is anyone even reading? I even considered going radio silent on social media.
But then, I got to thinking, why is there such a push to silence my words on focus?
It’s because our world is in desperate need of focused people–those who passionately pursue God’s will for their lives with the laser intensity of a sharpshooter. We need people who can sidestep distractions with the ease and tenacity of a football running back averting a tackle, because little by little, these are the people who will change the world.
Except the devil wants none of that. He doesn’t want us to be content or productive or shaking things up; and he certainly doesn’t want a crew of mamas who are focused and on a mission to live a life of purpose.
But who says he gets to decide?
While distractions are stealthy little things, as we begin to identify them at work in our lives, we can prepare our defenses to ward them off. Here are just a few to be on guard for:
The Past and Failures
Should haves, could haves, and would haves cause us to live with regrets and replay our past over and over. It’s an an unproductive way to live that causes us to miss out on what’s happening now.
Likewise, spending too much anticipating and dreading possible scenarios that could happen in the future stunt our ability to focus. Instead of focusing on God, we start focusing more on what we can do to manipulate the outcome of situations.
Lack of money, the pursuit of money, the fear of losing our money–all of these can cloud our thinking and actions.
Overloaded Schedules (a.k.a. Not Knowing How to Say No)
Saying yes too often to appointments, projects, commitments, events, etc. puts us on a path to feeling stretched and out of control. We don’t have it in us to give our best on the main things because we’re to busy trying to do everything.
O.P.P. (Other People’s Problems)
Have you ever heard of the Mother Theresa syndrome? It’s that call of duty to fix everyone else’s problems, issues, mistakes, dreams or what have you, often at the sacrifice of meeting our own needs or pursuing our own dreams.
Hundreds of stations on cable television. A seemingly endless supply of movies and even more shows on NetFlix, Hulu and other streaming services. New reality shows and mindless sitcoms popping up every time you turn around topped with live tweeting to draw you in. No wonder it’s easy to get sucked in.
This is a sneaky one that usually starts with the best of intentions. Just hopping on for a quick look at something and before you know it the constant stream of status posts, pins, videos, etc. have lulled you into hours of wasted time.
Focus and tiredness rarely coexist. Neither does it play well with illnesses. Many of the ailments we face today are often the result of bad choices when it comes to eating, exercising, sleeping, smoking and drinking.
Trying to keep up with what everyone else seems to be doing, where they are in life or what they have can cause us to lose our way on so many levels. Instead of living for ourselves and what God has for us, we make irrational decisions in pursuit of someone else’s life.
Too much success not handled with the appropriate blend of humility and graciousness can cause us to get too high on ourselves. We begin to think we are solely responsible for our good fortunes and tune out reason and other voices (both human and spiritual).
How have you been distracted? Can you pinpoint anything on this list that has blocked your focus? Which of these would you like to shake off the most?
Want to know who won the kid-friendly DVD pack? That would be…BROOKE. Congrats! I’ll email you soon to get your mailing address.
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