As a moderator of the Google+ Christian Bloggers community I am blessed to be able to run some writing challenges.
For the month of February I chose the topic of distraction because I believe that God has been speaking to me about not getting distracted from His calling upon my life, and the task at hand which He has set…That being a full-time study load for 2014 as well as continuing to care for my 3 sons!
And to be TOTALLY honest I am a person who can get easily distracted! I am a creative person and sometimes regular routine is just NOT the best for my creative side…and I can sometimes struggle with waiting.
More specifically I believe that God is telling me to keep my eyes focused upon Him and what I am sure He has set for me this year, so that I stay on track for His plan for my life. Routine, discipline, focus…Ughhhh…honestly, sometimes it just feels so boring, restricted, uneventful and in a weird way unproductive! Yet I also know that this is because I am at war with my flesh. Yes, my natural bent would not be to pursue academics and provide a stable, routine home environment for my kids – honestly it would be to have lots of coffees with people, and to work on special projects…Oh yes and to have some great holidays!
When I stop sulking and think logically, I know that by staying focused and committed to my work at hand I will actually be more productive, and our life will be calmer, which is what I need this year.
Wasting time daydreaming as I plod along doing housework I must admit is lovely, and something I enjoy doing. I also enjoy NOT having a heavy academic workload, or assignment due dates…but I know this is NOT the way to actively pursue God’s plan for my life…for I believe God has spoken and now I need to do my part by responding. He told me that this year is one of study. It is a year of commitment to The Lord, a chapter of growing closer to Him and staying focused, before the next chapter begins.
I know this so well as it has been confirmed in SO MANY ways…yet there still is the Melanie who at times sulks! I actually CAN NOT stand the more recent expression of ‘suck it up princess’…yet perhaps it is appropriate at times? Regardless I still don’t like it…and I know that God is much gentler with me than this – He reminds me I am His princess and tells me wonderfully encouraging things to help me; like nothing is impossible with God (Luke 1:37) and all things work together for good for those who love the Lord (Romans 8:28) and what can anyone do to me as The Lord is my helper (Hebrews 13:6). I prefer the expression ‘when the going gets tough, the tough get going’ as it reminds me of our forefathers of the faith like St. Paul who faced massive hardship with The Lord.
So I believe that this ordinary woman, with God’s help, will achieve God’s set plan for my life. I will keep re-focusing each time I get distracted by the many various distractions that everyday life brings my way. Is discipline easy? I think no. But scripture also says that God as our loving Father does discipline us because He loves us (Hebrews 12:6) and I’d rather be His child than a willfully disobedient one – so I am grateful when He continues to help me re-focus when I do get distracted!
Here are some of my ideas using the word DISTRACTION:
D = Doubt – This is a killer to real growth and achieving God’s purpose for your life. I’ve experienced doubts many times, even when I’m sure I’ve heard God…the only answer is to step forward in faith while staying close to Jesus, as God will not do the hard work for you…you do have your own free will to obey or not. Don’t let doubt distract you!
I = Insignificance – Sometimes we can hold onto a negative image of ourselves that questions God’s purpose for our lives. We may question the significance of our work and its value to the Kingdom of God. But feelings of insignificance I don’t believe are from God – you are of immense value to God, you were bought with a price (1 Corinthians 6:20) and God cares about you and your life, He takes great joy in you!
S = substandard – When you let yourself get distracted or don’t spend time with The Lord trying to discern His will, I think it’s realistic to acknowledge that our work will be substandard, rather than work which sets the benchmark for others. We are called to be salt and light in our world. So keep focused and SHINE bright!
T = Truth – Distractions will keep you from the Truth…the truth of God’s purpose for your life!
R = Radical – Let’s be honest here…being a disciple of Jesus is a radical way of life…I mean we do know what defines a true committed Christian compared to the world…right? The radical life of a disciple won’t always win you the largest amount of friends on Facebook…LOL. But seriously I’m not saying as a Christian you are weird…but sometimes focus, direction and commitment can challenge others in their own life. But don’t let this distract you. Jesus and the saints lived radical lives which challenged others. The enemy will try to distract you from your radical life, don’t let him!
A = Antidote – The only true antidote to distraction is spending time with Jesus! Do I need to say any more? Pray, read your Bible, spend time in church with God’s people!
C = Criminal – Distraction is a bandit, don’t let it rob you!
T = Technology – Do I need to go into detail here? Technology sure is a blessing…but OH WOW what an awfully, tempting distraction it can be!
I = Intelligence – feeling powerless against distraction? Remember it’s a war against the flesh…so be smart and draw closer to The Source of Wisdom – God!
O = Opinions – I have found that the opinions of others are not always beneficial to keep you from getting distracted. Remember the story of the man, wife, child and donkey? Everyone had an opinion for the guy about who should ride the donkey. In the end to please everyone no-one did. Have a backbone and don’t let petty remarks distract you…just keep close to The Lord and your conscience clear with Him!
N = New – New paths take a lot of determination, hard-work and focus. Feeling distracted, think of your favourite pioneers and how they achieved what they did with focus!
IN YOUR STRUGGLE AGAINST DISTRACTION YOU ARE NOT ALONE – KEEPING OUR EYES FOCUSED ON JESUS IS THE ONLY ANSWER FOR US ALL!