Encouragement, Faith, Obedience

Distractions – Do not touch!

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On the way to church today, the enemy did everything to slow me down.  I over slept, followed by a whole host of “time suckers”, including my hair dryer suddenly overheating to the point it wouldn’t work.  I finally get on the road to church knowing I am going to be extremely late, but that’s ok…I pump myself up “better late than not going at all”, “there’s got to be a good message for all this to have happened this morning”, “satan isn’t winning today” and the mantra goes on.  I remain in a positive, good mood.  One of the last straws was my husband calling, at this point I’m almost to church, in his not so nice way he starts questioning me about a conversation I know nothing about.  He is apparently in the middle of a miscommunication with his family members and I must know something about it and I’m clearly not sharing with him…so he thinks.  After a very quick, “I don’t have clue what your talking about and I’m pulling into the parking lot, I need to go”, followed by “you are not keeping me from church today and you are not going to upset my whole day”, we end the call.  Here I go, I’m walking into church, some what irritated, my emotions are all over the place and my mind has packed it’s bags for 7 different destinations….there is no getting it all together but I walk in with a smile anyway.  I am totally prepared for the question, “how are you doing today”, even though I am late and I’m sure my face is telling what my mind is thinking.  Here it comes, a gentleman grabs the door for me and says, “how are you today?”…my answer “FINE”, with the biggest smile I can possibly muster like I am trying to convince myself more than this gentleman.  I really don’t want any other questions and I don’t want to talk about it.  I just want to get to my seat and start worship…..where I belong.  He lets me pass and I get to my seat.  Whew, I have 2 songs until preaching starts to get myself back in order.  I immediately say a quick pray and get right to worship, more determined than ever to no let the enemy steal my church service.  Service was great.  Pastor J was on point.  God was speaking to me and I was taking it in.  I received confirmation on somethings I had been praying, asking about and I was feeling fed.

I leave church, headed somewhere, anywhere really.  It was an odd feeling, I didn’t have to be anywhere at any specific time and it was just me.  Oh my goodness, me time….this never happens.  I call my husband to see where he is and to talk a little more about our conversation.  Hindsight, I should have just left it alone.  There it is, the straw that broke the camels back.  He said just enough to send me into a tailspin.  My mind and emotions are off to the races.  I can’t take the negativity any longer.  I very quickly say enough to get my point across and off the phone.  I’m so angry, frustrated, ticked off, and on top of it….I let the negativity get inside.  I call a dear friend….this poor girl catches it all.  She has only heard me like this a few times, very few times, and so her reaction is expected.  She wasn’t sure how to handle what I threw at her.  I basically vomited all the negativity and frustration on her.  Now this wasn’t fair to her and she didn’t ask for it but I had no one else that would understand at that moment.  The one person that I would normally call is the one that caused all this so “batter up”.  After about 30 minutes of me ranting, her laughing at me and her husband trying to fan the flames, we end the call.  I feel somewhat better but it’s just me again.  I go into BWW for lunch with just myself, praying no one says anything to set me off because I feel like a walking time bomb.  I’m more upset at myself for allowing this to go on than I am at anyone else.  I had started out the day with such a great attitude, how did I get here.

I’m seated at a small table on the bar side.  There are TV’s everywhere, just about everyone is yelling, clapping, cheering for whatever team has just scored…more distractions.  Right now, I am welcoming the distractions from my own mind, which has taken flight in different directions.  It is drowning out my own thoughts so I can listen to that still small voice.  Here I sit in this crowded restaurant, praying and listening to God….just loving being in His presence.  Suddenly, I am hyper-focused on one thought, one prayer and not a single person around me is aware of what is going on inside.  I did nothing to usher this in, shoot I’m not even in a quiet place.  As I pray, I tell God, “I’m not taking this distraction (referring to my husband & his ‘miscommunication’) on.  You have to take this from me.  I do not want this battle.  This is meant to derail me and I’m not falling into that trap.  I pause praying for a while and open my YouVersion app.  I have been doing several devotions over the last couple of weeks and I’m on one, “Next Steps to Fulfilling God’s Plan for Your Life.”  It has been good.  Below is part of the devotion that I read:

When you start walking out the plan that God has for your life, it will be very important for you to stay focused on Him and the plan that He has for you.  It will be a noble cause and worthy of your undivided attention.  Be on guard against anything that will distract you or slow the process of completing the work that God has you doing.

Holy cow!  Did I just read that?  Let me read that again.  I shake my head and sit in awe.  Here I am reading the Bible with every distraction known to man yet I am hyper-focused.  I am super sensitive to the small voice.  Oh and my frustration, irritation, negative feeling is gone.  My mind is back from it’s “unpaid” sabbatical.

Here are my lessons and I hope you get something from all this madness:

  1. When we encounter others, we never know the battles they are facing.  On this day, I had an internal battle going along with a battle with just about everyone I encountered.  My attitude was I wasn’t going to let that stop me.
  2. Don’t let the enemy slow you down.  He tried everything short of my truck breaking down, my house catching on fire, or some other catastrophic emergency.  He just tried to slow me down enough to make me throw in the towel and say forget it, “I’m not going to go, I’ll just watch from home”.  Little did he know….I was ready for that fight with him today.
  3. We should get up each morning with an attitude that “We WIN”.  We win every day that we start our day with God.  We win, the Bible tells us so.  I read the last chapter of the book and cliff notes….God is on our side, satan is defeated and WE WIN!
  4. Don’t let the distractions get in your way.  He kept launching pebbles my direction to distract me.  The enemy wanted me to be late.  He wanted me to be irritated by the time I got to church so I would concentrate on him (the enemy) instead of HIM (GOD).

Lastly, and this is a big one….”Choose your battles wisely”.  These words should be in the Bible and they might be but I’m not coming up with them right now.   Not every battle is yours to pick up and fight.  Some, most even, battles are just distractions….a way to get us to focus on anything but God’s purpose for our lives.  I have heard this advice too many times to count but it never really took root until today.  When I say root, I mean deep root.  I have a promise from God, a word from Him that I am taking steps toward and I WILL NOT BE MOVED.  I WILL NOT BE DISTRACTED, DERAILED, STOPPED, SLOWED DOWN.

In this room full of distractions, I sit.  I sit in God’s presence, listening to that still small voice.  This voice is now louder the TV’s, the fans, the cheering, the conversations, the clearing of tables, everything else going on around me…it is still louder.  God didn’t yell.  He didn’t put up a billboard in my face.  He waited until I had removed all the junk from my morning and He spoke, He showed up, He listened to me and He loved me.  So I sit, read, and write.

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What is distracting you today?

What can you lay down so you can hear that “still small voice”?

Are you staying your course or have you gotten “distracted”?

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