HOW CAN WE AVOID DISTRACTIONS?
Life is full of them. Everywhere we turn we’re bombarded with distractions, but many are of our own doings. How do we avoid them? By prayer, God’s Word, His promises, His presence, His Holy Spirit.
Eternal Perspectives by Sally Bair
My mind was a blizzard of distractions because I was in the midst of building an addition to my house. Drills buzzed, hammers pounded, a radio blared as the hired builders rebuilt walls, tore out old moldings, and replaced doors and windows. Sawdust brought on the sneezes. And that was just the beginning. Among a host of other decisions, I had to choose the colors of each room and decide where my furniture would fit best. All the while, I fretted about the cost.
The quiet peacefulness of my home, so conducive to writing, shattered. A friend had warned me when she told me, “Nothing destroys a Christian’s prayer concentration more than a building project.” How true! My mind worked on overload with building thoughts. More than once I wondered if the project was worth all the work, time, and anxiety.
If ever you’ve built a house or remodeled even one room, you can empathize with these words. The distractions are endless and enormous. Except for necessary chores, everything takes second place to a building project. It’s a process that one endures for the sake of gaining something new or better. My personal goal was to gain a private office. But in the hectic process, I needed a mind-renewal.
Paul the Apostle reminds us in Romans 12:2: “Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind ….” How could I apply the verse practically? By finding a quiet place to withdraw from the buzzing and pounding in order to spend quiet time with the Lord. That meant opening my mind to prayer, repeating Bible verses, and using a park bench—even a rock as a table—to pen my thoughts.
It isn’t always a building project that causes mind-distraction. It can be the weather conditions, an illness, disappointment over a relationship, or a loss of any kind. Whatever it is, we can choose instead to think about and meditate on God’s promises and presence.
Paul did. He remained calm enough to sleep through shipwrecks. He rejoiced in the Lord while enduring beatings and imprisonment and harassment and persecution. He remained steadfast even though he felt great sorrow and anguish over the weak state of the new Christian church. In a sense, Paul went through a building process—that of building up the Church—and chose not to allow his mind to be distracted or discouraged by any circumstance, knowing that in the end there would be eternal gain.
Lord, thank You for Your Word that encourages us to go forward. When we are threatened by mind-distractions, no matter the cause, give us the strength and will to remain on course. In Jesus’ name, amen.
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