Brent: “Hey buddy, how was your day at school today?”
Liv: “Well I know one thing, I’m not ever wearing this again.”
Brent: “Why? It’s a cute dress.”
Let me pause and describe this dress. There’s a new fangled technology that has come onto the fashion scene involving sparklysequins sewn on to a garment, and if you rub them up the garment has one picture on it, then if you rub them down the picture on the garment changes.
I know. Mind blowing. I would have been ALL.OVER.THIS. as a pre-teen. Magic picture sequins right on the front of my shirt. I am here for it.
I found one such hi-tech garment for Liv. Rub the sequins up one way and it’s a slice of pizza. Rub them down it turns into a megaphone with “Be Kind” written on it.
Totally cool right?
Cut back to the conversation between my little brown one and her Papa after school last week.
Liv: “Well Papa. All my friends got frowny-faces on their behavior charts because they were rubbin’ up trying to change my pizza and not paying attention to the teacher”
All. the. LOLs.
Her friends were rubbin’ up on her pizza tryin’ to change it.
Brent: “Well buddy. What were you doing? Were you playing with it too?”
Liv: “No Papa. I was just doing this.” And she blank stared straight forward, with dead eyes, staring into space. I could totally picture her trying to not have a meltdown as all the hands rubbed her pizza as she tried her hardest to focus on the teacher.
She hated it.
Not only were her friends rubbing up and down on her chest (which is why I have chosen she will never wear it again because…that’s just too much to imagine), but Liv’s biggest issue was that she was the cause of their behavior downfall.
They would have to show their mamas and papas a frowny-face on the behavior chart.
She felt the weight of being the problem, of being the distraction.
And she was not going to do that again.
So the dress came off and was rotated to the back of the closet.
No more sparkly pizzas for her.
Do you feel like you are constantly battling the sparkly pizzas of life?
The bright shiny unimportant things that threaten to drag your attention away from the main thing and onto them instead.
I am so prone to chasing after shiny sequins that catch my eye.
I’m not just talking about the mundane everyday kind of ways that distraction creeps in: checking social media, picking up a few hundred extra things at Target because they were in my line of sight, daydreaming instead of replying to the 1,000 emails that rest in my inbox.
Those are everyday occurrences for me. I am naturally easily distracted.
(If you know me well you’re saying ‘Yes, Amen…she is’)
But in this season of life, I have become keenly aware that distraction is a major enemy of mine.
It’s subtle and quiet and non-threatening.
But its effects can be devastating.
I’m talking about a deeper distraction. The distraction of my heart.
Here’s the thing:
The only thing that matters, at all, ever in life, is Jesus.
His Words, His commands, His example; and that all of Him intersects with me, making my life a giant living and breathing declaration of His glory.
That’s it. That’s the main thing.
Him, all of Him and Me displaying all of Him.
It’s so simple and overly religious sounding, but it’s the straight up truth.
But, oh how quickly the eyes of my heart can dart away and catch a glimpse of something that robs me of time, energy, focus, vision, and clarity:
comparison, worry/anxiety, stress, desire to please people, approval of people, pride, ministry, work, material possessions, physical appearance, success….
There’s more…I promise…but you get the picture.
These things, not all terrible in themselves, sneak in so quietly with their shiny-sparkly -sequin selves and quietly begin to fight for a very valuable thing: my attention.
It is a fight to keep the main thing the main thing. To keep Jesus in front of my eyes as my lens of life.
It is hard to stare straight forward, right at Him; not allowing the obvious pushing and pulling of distraction to take us from what He has for us.
I love the simple and shockingly straight forward story of Martha and Mary.
“As they continued their travel, Jesus entered a village. A woman by the name of Martha welcomed him and made him feel quite at home. She had a sister, Mary, who sat before the Master, hanging on every word he said. But Martha was pulled away by all she had to do in the kitchen. Later, she stepped in, interrupting them. “Master, don’t you care that my sister has abandoned the kitchen to me? Tell her to lend me a hand.”
The Master said, “Martha, dear Martha, you’re fussing far too much and getting yourself worked up over nothing. One thing only is essential, and Mary has chosen it—it’s the main course, and won’t be taken from her.”
It’s the main course.
The rest is just fluff, important and good work, maybe, but not the main course.
Let’s fight to keep our eyes on Him and allow His presence to be the thing that sheds light on every area of our life.
Let’s keep our eyes straight forward, paying no attention to the sparkly pizza begging to get us off track.
Let’s fix our eyes, the eyes of our heart, on Jesus….He is all that matters.
What does this look like practically?
Here’s some ways to put this in practice:
- Looking to the Word of God for answers on the big questions in our lives, instead of google, our friends or our own knowledge. What does He say about this?
- Understanding where our identity is rooted. Who are we really? That way when the wishy-washy waves of public approval or friendship woes hit, we aren’t taken out at the knees, but instead can stand on the steady ground of knowing who we are as we face these bound-to-happen hiccups head on.
- What’s the most redemptive-Gospel centered way to spend my money?
- What does Jesus say about material possessions?
- When the enemy attacks, what are the weapons Jesus has given me to fight with?
- When I get frustrated with my kids, what is the most Jesus-like way to respond?
And on and on…etc.
Centering on Jesus, refocusing by asking Him, consulting His word.
It is absolutely possible for Him to be the grid for everything.
Jesus isn’t just in the spiritual…he longs to be in it all: the practical, the emotional, the financial…all of it.
What about you? What distracts you the most? How do you battle distraction?
(Leave your answers in the comments)