The Destruction of Distraction

The Destruction of Distraction

When I was a teacher, I used to do an activity with my students where I made them guess certain things about me as a lesson in perception and judgment.  How many siblings do you think I have?  What kind of family did I have?  What occupations did my parents have?  What did I go to college for?  What kind of food do I like to eat?  What do I drive?  Their answers were often so off base which was not a testament to how poorly they knew me, but rather how much they allowed their rash judgments get in the way of their perception.  It made for some very compelling conversations about acceptance and kindness and all the things. [I may have taught English, but I was teaching undercover character education.] 

I often wonder though… what do people out in the world think of me?  Not in the sense that I might temper my actions based on others’ reactions, but rather, what sort of vibe am I giving off to those around me?  

I hope people might describe me as kind, hospitable, and classy.  Surely others might consider me stand offish when in reality I can be painfully shy.  My dear husband likes to joke that I am an “O.O.F.”  or “Opposite Of Fun” as my fun having skills are truly quite pitiful.  But certainly someone, even someone who hasn’t spent much time with me, would quickly realize that I am organized and orderly to a fault.  [Hence, my O.O.F. nature.  I cannot help it; I am who I am.]    

Because the Lord wanted to torture my compuslive desire for order bless me, he gave me three sons.  Ask any Boy Momma, and she will likely tell you that order and organization are pipe dreams in a house with all boys.  But then I am all like, “Wait a minute, hold my coffee!”

When our oldest came along, he was my right hand guy.  I quickly got him into a schedule.  I showed him the routine.  I taught him the systems.  He happily complied.  

Our middle came shrieking into this world like a wild hyena and didn’t sleep for the first five months of his life.  I thought surely he would never get on board with my schedule and routine and systems, but even as a toddler, he very quickly morphed into my little rule follower and schedule, routine, and systems were his life blood.  A momma’s dream!  

And then there were three.  Lord Jesus, come… that third child wild.  

Where backpacks are hung neatly on hooks with care, you can rest assured that Roman’s will not be there.  

Where shoes are placed in cubbies in pairs, you can bet that Roman’s will be strewn everywhere.  

Where beds are made and teeth are brushed, you can rely on Roman to not be rushed.  

Y’all that blessed child tests my orderly nature every single moment of his little tiny life.  He is bright, he is articulate, and he is well behaved [in public mostly, which is where my own mother always said it mattered most…] but he is SO. EASILY. DISTRACTED.  

If I had a nickel for every time I said, “Roman, have you _____?” and heard “Oh!” in reply, I could send him to an ivy league college debt free.  Sure, I’d likely have to peel him off my leg screaming when he got there, but I could send him. 

He beats to his own drum and that drum is erratic and wild and evokes some pretty outrageous dance moves.  I am constantly having to pull him back on track.  “Buddy, look at me in my face…”  If he only understood that my way produces order.  My way is quicker and more painless.  My way understands the bigger picture of what I am trying to accomplish, and if he would only keep his eyes on what I am asking of him and do that and not get distracted by every little thing… 

Wait a minute. 

How many times?  How many times have I been walking the path I know I am supposed to walk on and I get distracted?  

Distracted by doubt…

Distracted by comparison…

Distracted by scrolling…

Distracted by obligation…

Distracted by frustration…

Distracted by setbacks… 

Distracted by overwhelm…

Distracted by security… 

When I can just hear God’s kind voice [He never gets impatient like I do…] say to me, “Look at me in my face.”  He’s reminding me to focus.  He’s calling for my attention.  He’s inviting me to trust that His path and plan are better than the one where my eyes are so quickly darting left and right… if I can only not get so distracted.  

Distraction destroys destinies.  I know this to be true.  Somehow I can look back at all the ways that distraction has delayed my destiny for far too long.  But no more… I will be focused.  

Focused on faith…

Focused on identity…

Focused on productivity…

Focused on priorities…

Focused on patience…

Focused on regrouping…

Focused on peace… 

Focused on opportunity…

We can wander through life with all the attention span of a wayward first grader, or we can focus on the path, plan, and promises of the Father. I know where I’m headed. What about you? 


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