Thursday, March 8, 2012

Distracted and Discouraged

I find that I’m all too easily distracted.  Does any of this sound familiar to you?

I get a few jobs done while my boys are napping, so I sit down to write or read my Bible. I notice the bathroom light on. I think, “I better turn that off.” As I do, I catch a glimpse of myself in the mirror. Look at my hair! I think, “I better do something with this mop!” I fix my hair and my makeup…right after I clean the dirty toilet and sink. I remember that I’m suppose to be writing or reading, so I sit back down. Boy, I sure am thirsty. I go to the cupboard to get a glass.  Suddenly I remember the laundry in the dryer. I fold the load of laundry, then remember to make myself a glass of tea. I finally sit back down. Out of no where I remember that e-mail I’m suppose to return. I log on. I hop onto Facebook. Fifteen minutes pass before I remember to return that e-mail, you know, the one I logged on to return. I remind myself to get back to writing and reading. I sit down. My boys wake up from their naps. They need my attention. I didn’t write or read. I was DISTRACTED.

I think it’s human nature to get distracted. But, I believe this place called distraction is just the place the enemy of our soul wants to keep us. In fact I believe his two greatest schemes are DISTACTION and DISCOURAGEMENT.

Think about it, whether we’re distracted by our own faults or insecurities, our long to do list or responsibilities, our trials and tribulations, or just by life in general, we lose focus. When we lose focus, we tend to get discouraged. When we’re discouraged, we become even more distracted. We tend to focus on the lesser things rather than the more important things. When we’re distracted and discouraged, we’re less fruitful. And we aren’t experiencinb the abundantly life God promised us! If he can keep us there, he wins!

Perhaps that’s why Paul felt the need to warn us:

"…do whatever will help you serve the Lord best,
with as few distractions as possible.”
I Corinthians 7:35

Recently I have sensed the Lord guiding me to simplify my life. Less distractions. More focus on what is really important, Him and others. That means giving up some things and not wasting time, because I know this life is fleeting. It also means being aware of how easily distracted I am (and most of us are), and making a conscience effort to stay on track. I only have so much time. Why waste it on the lesser things? Why waste my days being distracted and discouraged when He has provided all I need to be focused and encouraged?

“Don’t be afraid for I am with you. 
Don’t be discouraged, for I am your God.” 
Isaiah 41:10

I'm not saying we should shed every ambition, in fact, we shouldn't.  I am saying, there is a time and a place for everything (even facebook, if you so desire). And, of course, there are household chores that we all must do. I mean, who else is going to do your dishes, right? But the old saying “First things first” applies here.

We must focus on the more important things first! Then, the other things will fall into their proper places.

“Jesus replied, ‘You must love the LORD your God with all your heart,
all your soul, all your strength, and all your mind. T
his is the first and greatest commandment.
A second is equally important:
Love your neighbor as yourself.’” Matthew 22:37-39

We were created to be people of influence. However, we will never be all God created us to be, if we allow distraction and discouragement to overcome us. Not only will we miss out, those around us will too. We can’t afford that!

Ironically, the antidote for discouragement is the very thing we are distracted from. We must find time to be in God’s Word, to fill our minds with His truth. And if we only understood, really understood, even as the enemy understands, the power we have in prayer, we would never fail to spend time in conversation with God. If we seek Him, we will find Him. When we follow Him as our Good Shepherd, He gives us a rich, satisfying, and abundant life (see John 10:10), not discouragement and distraction.

“Always be full of joy in the Lord. I say it again - rejoice!
…Don’t worry about anything, instead pray about everything.
Tell God what you need, and thank Him for all He has done.
Then you will experience God’s peace which exceeds anything
we can understand. His peace will guard your hearts and
minds as you live in Christ Jesus.”  Philippians 4:4, 6-7

If you are a follow of Jesus Christ, remember all that you possess in His name! I know life comes with many challenges, but He supplies all we need (see Philippains 4:19)! It’s all too easy to forget. Don’t allow the enemy to bully you, and keep you in these places of Distraction and Discouragement. Spend time with the Lord daily, being strengthened, refreshed and rejuvenated. You will find yourself more FOCUSED and ENCOURAGED, influencing others and living the life of peace God promised to those of us who seek Him!


  1. Good words to help me stay focused.


  2. So good! Ties right in with my word of the year - discipline!

  3. wonderful timing... thanks for sharing. :)

  4. I appreciate your wise words, Rachel. I happen to think that distractions, while often unavoidable, are the primary way we wind up wasting time, talent, and resources.

    Lord, help us ALL to avoid unnecessary distractions!


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