Getting Rid of Distraction
I grew up practicing Lent. We'd always give up something that we loved to help us focus on God the 40 days leading up to Easter. As a kid, I dreaded it and would think of ways to give up something really easy that I wouldn't miss too much. But now as an adult it has become one of my favorite parts of the year. I absolutely LOVE it because it really helps me to open myself and life to God and what He has for me. It also often shows me how much there is in my life that takes my attention away from Him.
Be Aware of What's Distracting You
The other day I was talking to my sister about Lent. She shared that she was giving up TV for the upcoming 40 days and I proceeded with, "WHOA! WHAT?" Giving up TV sounded crazy hard! As we talked, she shared that she spent a lot of time with the TV and her shows. She wondered excitedly what God might be able to do with all those hours. Her bold choice got me thinking about all of the things I do in my everyday that take both my focus and time, and how God might be able to do something beautiful with that. She really got me wondering, "What are the things that distract me?"
First Step in Getting Rid of Distraction
I realized that was the first and most important step in the process. I had to spend a bit of time really thinking through my days and where I spent my time. As I mentally went through a typical day, I realized that my phone was a huge distraction. Facebook and Instagram could really get me off track, and reading books takes up a lot of my time as well. That mental inventory really helped me to see what I was spending my time and attention on.
Second Step in Getting Rid of Distraction
I've learned over the years that one of the worst things you can do when dealing with habits you want to get rid of is resist them and judge them. So as I noted what my big distractions were, I began to look in my day-to-day and just notice when the desire to do those things happened. When I noticed them, I was careful to pay attention to how I felt and NOT judge myself. I simply saw the desire and allowed it to be there. Funnily enough, it often passed as quickly as it came.
Third Step in Getting Rid of Distraction
The biggest change happened when I not only allowed the feeling to come and go, but also when I turned my focus to God. I'd mentally say to Him, "Come" or "Help" and then allow Him space to lead the next moments. Sometimes His message back to me was simply to breathe. Sometimes it was a task that needed to be done. And sometimes it was to rest and enjoy that exact thing that had once been a distraction.
What about YOU?
My great discovery was that is wasn't that I necessarily needed to give anything up, but more that my moments were best when my focus was on God. As that became (and honestly still becomes) my new practice, it seems a whole new world is opening up. Sometimes it still involves checking my phone, or going on Facebook, or reading a great story, but my perspective as I do all those things has shifted so significantly that what I find when I am doing those things brings me much more peace.
What about you? What distracts you in your daily life? What would you consider letting go of to free up your focus? Where can you invite God in? It's not particularly easy to start a new practice, so we have some tools this week that might help. There is a super short meditation that you can do anytime throughout your day, and as often as you'd like, to get you focused on God. Or like our Song of the Week suggests, take time at some point in your day to spend with Him before the "crazy kicks in." Let us know what works for you on our private Facebook page, The Chase Connect, or how we can be praying for you by clicking on the button on our website.
God has such great plans for each of us! The question is: Do we have enough mental and physical space in our days to discover what that is?