Tuesday, October 25, 2016

The fine art of being distracted

In the past few weeks, my life has been full to overflowing, nonstop, lined up, go, go, go, and oops, I forgot to do that too. Not enough hours in a day. Young people sometimes ask me, "So like, what do you do all day?" Sometimes I have no idea.

Am I mastering the fine art of being distracted?  Even this morning, oh, I should do that...get that...check that...and what about...?

My mom was a professional violinist.  Music was integrated in all of her life, a calling but also a strong ministry in the lives of others.  I am convicted by her example, she whose kitchen counter tops were stacked with literally everything you can imagine crying for attention, waving their hands, "I am urgent!  I am important!"

And she would walk away from those distractions and time-sapping "urgencies" and go practice her violin.

Mom took it to extremes at times, but there is a reminder there.  Lately, I have been focused on everything else, and a day, and another day, and a week passes, and oh yea, no writing today. And again, I push aside that nudge inside of me.  So many things to do, but I hear His voice at the end of the day, "but did you write?" 

No doubt, God uses distractions sometimes to redirect our hearts and enlarge our vision.  More often, it is we who use distractions to make excuses to God, even in what appears as really admirable deeds, even in what is necessary, even in what we say we are doing for Him.  God does not work by a checklist, nor by gussied-up "sacrifices" to gain His approval.  If I dare think, "but look at all I'm doing,"  I know that I am on the wrong highway.

It may look like all good stuff, but may not be what God has in mind.

Has the LORD as great delight
    in burnt offerings and sacrifices,
as in obeying the voice of the LORD?
    to obey is better than sacrifice,
and to hearken than the fat of rams.

                    1 Samuel 15. 22

What does God desire?  Just to listen to His still small Voice.  Hear and heed.  What changes the course of my life, what changes the course of history, what impacts everyone around me for generations, is my heart aligned to His. 

The most profound thing I can do today is to follow Him, not being distracted by what someone else may be doing or another person's calling, not even to focus on what is on my plate today, but what He places in my heart.  Being always impacts doing.

I can lay my day before the LORD,
but when I ask Him to lay His day before me,
there are no interruptions,
              but only His incredible purposes,
even in what I cannot yet see.

"You want me to do what?  Surely, O LORD, there is something better, more significant, more glorifying to You than that."

Somehow we don't get the interlocking connection between following Him fully, faithfulness, and fruitfulness.  We don't grasp the longevity of walking with Him and the unfathomable orthodoxy of the odd little details in His bigger narrative.

It is all ministry, even that which is not recognized as such.  The gospel is not just a kind word, a cup of cold water, the washing of feet, but a different heart. 

As for you...
     fulfill your ministry.
              2 Timothy 4. 5

And not be distracted,
                 even in this.

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