Are Distractions Really Distractions?
Psalm 119:15 (ESV) “I will meditate on Your precepts and fix my eyes on Your ways.”
I had a prompting to spend some alone time with God. I remember telling my husband the night before that I was driving somewhere to be alone with God. I didn’t know where, but if kidnapped, I’ll have my “Find Friends” app on.
It was a Saturday morning, and I normally go for a run or to the gym, but this day, I took my guitar, notebook, Bible and pen, and left for the unknown. I remember driving toward Newcastle and then drifting on a turnpike, which made me panic wondering if our turnpike pass was current, so I had to call Jared at that point. Thank goodness it was, so I kept driving until I felt the Lord leading me to exit.
I somehow arrived in Lawton, by Meers, where I eventually parked in a rest area on “Lake Lawtonka.” This lake was beautiful because it was right around the Mount Scott area. In Oklahoma, Mount Scott is as mountainous as it gets for our part of the country.
As I was parking at the rest area by the lake, I noticed seven different picnic tables outlining the shore. I remember asking God for direction on where to pull over. He guided me to the highest point of the lake with an amazing view. I pulled in by the picnic table and started to unload my things. There wasn’t a soul in site for miles. It was fantastic, and I truly felt like I was alone with God.
After 30 minutes of pure bliss, I heard a car engine pulling toward my area. A man in a van rolled down his window and asked if he could fish right where I was. Before answering, I looked around at all the other picnic spots, making it completely obvious there were other spots available – seven, if I didn’t mention that before – and then said, “Well I guess you can…” I know my face at that point was in utter disgust. He delightfully smiled and started to unload his fishing equipment.
Now when I say, “fishing equipment” I mean he took out eight five-gallon buckets full of who-knows-what, with eight fishing poles and bait. This guy was serious! As I was watching him unload, I was amazed at how much he had.
He kept getting more and more supplies out of the van. A few minutes later, he was still unloading, and I am getting hotter by the minute! As he went back and forth, he was also whistling and having the time of his life, which made this worse. I finally had enough and walked off. I remember him saying, “I hope I’m not running you off….” All I could muster to say back was, “umm huh thanks…”
As I walked to my car, I was left feeling really upset. I eventually pulled in to another picnic spot, trying to get as far away from this guy as possible. When I unloaded my stuff the second time, I remember asking the Lord why this happened, especially when there were so many other spots this guy could have used.
Here is what God revealed to me. In a believer’s life we will be called to participate in what God is prompting us to do as His children. We have a choice. Are we going to follow Him? If so, we must have single vision. Distractions will happen to us and will try and keep us from pursuing what we have been called to do. If we don’t take heed to the lessons, we will fall, guaranteed.
Sometimes the only way to get rid of a distraction is to walk away from it. If we don’t walk away, we may miss what God wants us to see and hear. By staying close to the distraction, our eyes slip, and we focus on other things with no heavenly gain. Sometimes, when dealing with our distractions, just ignoring it won’t work, especially when the distraction is so strong for us. Physically leaving is sometimes the only answer.
Wow, that was so eye-opening to me. How I never want to miss or put my mind on other things besides what the Lord is doing in and around me. I don’t want to miss out on His blessings, do you?
In Gal. 5:16-17 (ESV), it says, “But I say, walk by the Spirit, and you will not gratify the desires of the flesh. For the desires of the flesh are against the Spirit, and the desires of the Spirit are against the flesh, for these are opposed to each other, to keep you from doing the things you want to do.” As I am typing this, I am thinking just how true this passage is. We are prone to our fleshly thinking, (“Prone to wonder, Lord I feel it. Prone to leave the God I love”) which always leads us in the OPPOSITE direction of where God wants to take us.
If I am not focused and growing in Christ, it delays my journey to the place God wants to take me. A classic example are the Israelites and their journey to the Promised Land. Time and time again, they walked with their fleshly desires at the forefront, while forgetting what God took them through, which caused many to never experience what God had planned for them. Their gaze was not on God but on themselves.
1 Peter 5:8 tells us that our enemy prowls around like a roaring lion and is ready to devour, so we need to be of sober-mind and watchful, as not to be entrapped by his schemes. Being alert is crucial to our success. Webster tells us that being “alert” is being quick to notice something that is “potentially” dangerous or “could be” difficult for us. If we take notice before it becomes a distraction, we can decide right then what to do about it, before it ensnares our life. In all my years of knowing God, He has warned me of many pitfalls, and prepared my heart to listen and heed His warning.
May we never take our gaze off the Lord and may He continually be our heart’s cry till He calls us home!
As always, I’m learning right there with ya!