Stardate January 9, 2016, (read in the voice of James T. Kirk, of the Starship Enterprise) This is Sandy Roy, second in command for the Earthship Roy. I was on my mission to talk to the Creator of the blue planet, Earth, when there was a disruption in the airwaves caused by a large device that looks like my communicator (I believe the term is, laptop). It is emitting sounds, which confuse me and keep me from my task. Going to investigate....
On the screen It seems there is a bird moving its head up and down to, what in my normal state, I would call music (although in my present state seems more like noise). It seems as if there's some kind of magnetic attached to the sc because It keeps drawing me there. I ...must...get back to my mission...but, oh that's funny...losing ground. Mayday! Mayday! Beem me back to the kitchen Scottie.
Stardate, ten minutes later than the last entry. I have returned to my spot and tried to resume communication. Now a dark feeling is enveloping me....anger. Isolation. My communication with the Creator is spotty. Sandy out.
12 Wherefore seeing we also are compassed about with so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which doth so easily beset us, and let us run with patience the race that is set before us,
Even fun? Surely it must not mean fun. Where is the fun clause? This is America after all "life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness." AKA fun? Some of all think you're better at this. Saying."Oh, I don't do that."
You do too. You might not play with the kids, but what about, Starbucks, Dutch Bros. (fun in a cup) Facebook, texting friends, shopping (the kids need....I). Am I saying those things are bad? No, just sometimes they get in the way of our commitments to excellence. So, how do we do lay aside the "every weight?" A weight isn't necessarily sin, it's things that weigh us down or hold us back in the quest to live for God. How do we do that while still having to live in the real world?
In this minutely small part of my tiny world I'm trying to dedicate to God (in this small task of dishes) how do I do that? Because, what I'm learning so far is, while doing the dishes (or whatever your task is) may work fine at certain times of the day, other times you may encounter distractions. Sometimes they're valid, but often they're those things that entertain you...okay me. I admit it. Especially in the evenings when "fun dad" is home. Not that it's bad to spend family time, but it's a balance (obviously I tend to tilt toward the "fun" side). Still, you need to do what you need to do. Right? If not, your house will be an awful thing to live in (if you've never experienced this, trust me on that one). So what do you do? I found a solution to distractions in this area, so I'm going to share it and a couple ideas.
1. Make your own magnet to pull you back. Newton's law says for every action there is an equal reaction. My reaction was to plug my earphones into an audio Bible and just listen to the Scriptures, as I did the dishes. That was good. Christian music would work, a prayer list anything that helps you focus. I must say I really enjoyed it. It was like being on my own little island. (disclaimer: this is not permission to completely ignore or tune out your kids. Make sure you have someone responsible watching them, or plug in one earphone and still keep an eye one them. Or perhaps, God has you to stop and attend to a need, be it emotional or physical, so this is not permission to always block out your family. In short, this works if you can manage it in a safe way.) This is a practical illustration of the second verse of Hebrews 11 which says.
"Looking unto Jesus the author and finisher of our faith;..."
This also helps with the next thing that creeps in (at least it did for me)--.pride (I'll tell you what, between my flesh and the devil they don't miss a trick). 'They're watching this ridiculous fluff while I'm listening to the Bible. Hm. Hm. Hmph. ' It was a struggle and it is amazing how different (non-eternal) your normal routine looks when you're in that "communicating with God" attitude. How did I combat that? It was hard. I reminded myself that that's normally me watching those things and kept trying to "look unto Jesus" not me. What about you? Have you been successful? If so, what do you do to combat pride? Any comments on that would be appreciated.
2. Get the family involved. I might try this next time; getting them cleaning up, in a Godly way. You know, putting on some Christian music or singing songs as we clean up. Maybe you just pick one person, but make it fun. Some of you who have already tried this are probably snickering about now. "Sure, the family. It's going to go just the way you think," you're saying (maybe you're not as sarcastic as my inner dialogue). Anyway, I understand I'd have to go easy on the expectations.
3. Do the task later. But put a deadline on it so it gets done (like before bed). I did this last Saturday and it turned out to work out well. Okay, I did the, listening to the Bible thing and I did the dishes later; because after my first set was done, we had dinner, a few snacks, and voila there was a whole new set--previously my mind would drift to the verse about the demons who were cast out and came back seven fold when the house was clean, but I'm changing that thought, dishes are not evil. (Wasn't serious about that anyway, FYI) that's old thinking; they are an invitation to come to the throne room of the God of the universe and believe that He is there listening. .
And, I must say, the sink is seeming like a bit more special of a place than it was before. Not a lot. Just a tiny bit. I'm trying not to let it be just a short-term fad, but a long-term habit. How about you? Is God transforming your task? What have you come up against? How do you deal with distractions? Have you been putting it off. Start and start today. Anticipate distractions and head them off at the past.
Let's encourage each other, believing that God who began a good work in us will be faithful to complete it. Phil. 1:6 (paraphrased). For me, beginning with my least favorite task is a great way to start. How about you? Also, do you have any good verses that deal with distractions? Please include them below.