Distraction is one of our greatest adversaries. A distracted driver can take a wrong turn, swerve lanes or get in a wreck. A distracted life can strain relationships, weaken our purpose and pillage our faith. I love the tale of two sisters in Luke 10:38-42:
As they went, He entered a village. And a woman named Martha welcomed Him into her house. She had a sister called Mary, who also sat at Jesus' feet and listened to His teaching. But Martha was distracted with much serving, and she came to Him and said, "Lord, do You not care that my sister has left me to serve alone? Then tell her to help me."
Jesus answered her, "Martha, Martha, you are anxious and troubled about many things. But one thing is needed. And Mary has chosen the good part, which shall not be taken from her."
Martha was distracted. And honestly, if I hosted Jesus and the disciples for dinner, I'd probably be preoccupied and stressed out, too. Yet what Jesus really wanted from Martha was one thing Mary offered: her presence. Distraction is defined as "that which divides the attention or prevents concentration." Don't underestimate distraction. If we don't learn to dodge distraction, not only do we risk mental, physical and emotional fatigue; we miss meaningful moments. It takes determination to dodge distraction. Since distraction shrouds itself in so many forms, identify what tends to distract you and develop strategies to avoid it. Implement these three tips to elude the danger of distraction:
Start your day with God. Offer Jesus the one thing He really wants: your presence. Discipline yourself to spend time in prayer and God's Word before you turn on the computer, dive into work or get on your phone. Ask God to help you focus on His plans for your day.
Slow down. Practice deep breathing, which decelerates your heart rate, lowers your blood pressure and improves mental clarity. Instead of staring down an overscheduled day, adjust your pace and leave margin so you can hear God's voice.
Set limits. Establish boundaries, asking for accountability in areas that cause you the most temptation. If social media or scrolling the internet tends to divert you for hours, set a timer. Allocate an area in your home for work projects to maintain balance and give relationships top priority.
On Mondays during June and July, Angela Donadio shares some of her favorite stories from her most recent book, Astounded: Encountering God in Everyday Moments, on Make Life Matter on Charisma Podcast Network. Listen to this episode for an unforgettable story and more on dodging distractions.
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