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.

 

When You Need Tuesdays

Some days are just bad. Some days you just get overwhelmed, emotional and feeling as if it just won’t stop…I joyfully call those days Mondays. I don’t know what you all call them, but that’s my label for them.

Those Mondays where you find no matter how much you strive, how much you churn out or do in your own self, it just doesn’t get you far. It doesn’t amount to much and you look to find that you now have even more. A certain level of panic, anxiety and frustration sets in for me when that happens. It’s almost like I am being pulled by an undertow in the ocean and I am struggling to no avail.

You see though, that’s exactly it. I am the one struggling. I am the one fighting. I find it is so me-centered that I haven’t let much, if any, of God in. I haven’t sought Him out to be my Strength, my Comfort, my Help, my Healer. I want to make sure I get it done and then I get the glory. But I don’t get it done, and find my head a mess, my heart in turmoil and my frustrations pouring out of my mouth.

My recent prayer has been for God to make me aware of those times and my need for Him, not more of myself. To make my utter dependence on Him known to me, and that it is only in Him am I able to do anything. I had one of those Mondays but found myself doing the same old thing of relying upon self rather than trusting in Him. Throughout the day I kept spinning in my own tracks, never really making headway and seeing the mounting issues. As I reflected afterward I kept coming back to these verses below, and how I am thankful for a new morning. Something I have reflected on recently here.

Because of the Lord’s great love we are not consumed, for his compassions never fail. They are new every morning; great is your faithfulness. Lamentations 3:22, 23

But I hadn’t focused on the consumed part. Because of His love, we aren’t consumed. I am here, present and moving forward. But it’s because of His love, for me, for you that the struggles of yesterday did not consume me, they don’t take over today. And while I am still working on the reliance of Him in the moment of Mondays (as there will be more) I know that through His love I am not consumed. I am not overtaken. Even in my failings and faults, when I strive in my own strength, He doesn’t fail.

So I greet a Tuesday with hope, love, and new mercies.