Distracted and Consumed

I am chief among sinners. 

I thought about Paul’s words as my pastor spoke the words “Distracted and Consumed” yesterday. I felt the arrows of conviction hit straight and true as he continued on with his sermon, knowing those three words had struck at the heart of a problem. One that I know many wrestle with, even as a society and culture we are suffering from the very disease of distraction and consummation.

I get the irony of writing about this on a platform (and sharing it on other platforms) because it’s the very thing which is distracting and consuming this heart, this mind, and this time. I like to say “well it’s to keep up with this or to share my writing.” Unfortunately though it’s to the detriment of my heart and my focus.

Maybe it’s not so much social media that distracts you, maybe you don’t get consumed by the words, the actions, and the thoughts of others in such a divisive culture we are living in. Maybe the distraction is binging on the newest release from Netflix or your kids’ ballgames (this one I saw first hand last weekend y’all). It is whatever is consuming your time and distracting you from the very thing which God desires of you.

What is consuming your heart that it’s not allowing Him in? What is distracting you to the point you cannot hear Him? I am the first to admit that I willingly would choose those over time with Him, time digging in to His Word, time spent in silence with Him, waiting on Him. I would rather be consumed with distractions than allow Him space in my life…that’s what I am telling Him when I “scroll for just a few minutes.” Or when I say “just one more episode” or let someone else take up residency in my heart.

When I am distracted and consumed, I am more prone to worry, anxiety, doubt, fear, and control. I find that peace and stillness are commodities in short supply. The quiet filling of connection is negated with an empty longing to be known when we are consumed by anything other than the God who desires to know us more.

Maybe it’s time to stop the fighting for our attention and our hearts by simply giving them solely to Him. Not a screen, not the success or failure of our child’s pee wee league team, and not some fictional characters we enjoy.

 

I Wonder

DSCN2329I love photography. I am not that great at it, but I absolutely love taking photos. Spending hours looking through them, finding ones that just grab at what my heart was saying in a moment. Sometimes you will catch me, if you are with me, staring up at angles or tree branches. It’s because I find myself in constant awe of the beauty of life.

Truly.

Like the photo above, I sat in a courtyard a few weeks ago just staring at the corner of this mansion in awe of the beauty of the day. Of the hands that made it, and the minds which were inspired to create it. It’s set against the contrast of a beautiful sky which the Maker swept His hand across. This photo, of what some would call a simple awning of a building, capture the awe of wonder for me.

DSCN2355“We get so preoccupied with ourselves, the words we speak, the plans and projects we conceive that we become immune to the glory of creation.”-Brennan Manning, The Ragamuffin Gospel

DSCN2446That captures so eloquently what I believe we are losing in life. We are losing wonder. What it means to wonder. What it means to be in awe. Even in our most based state, we lose it in ourselves because we are living into our flesh. It’s a preoccupation that is as old as the fall. It’s something we have to work against daily.

It is choosing to see the weeds and know they are good too. Knowing they serve as a reminder to us of a life lived in preoccupation, a life that needs to slow and be in wonder of Him more. It’s choosing awe in the face of mundane. It’s seeing wonder despite our schedules, our busyness. It’s pausing even for a moment to appreciate His work.

DSCN2401It’s asking Him for more wonder, and knowing He gives it freely.