Are distractions the most important things in your life? Do you allow the daily chaos and busyness of life to invade your priorities and even filter into your relationship with Jesus? If so, you aren’t alone. Most of us have to deal with this same struggle.
But, there is good news. God has given us a promise in Matthew 11:28, “Come unto me, all ye that labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.” (KJV Bible).
REST…what a beautiful word. Just “being” is something we tend to view as bad. We find ourselves concerned when we don’t have something to do because there is ALWAYS something we NEED to do.
But did you catch that important AND in the scripture? The key to receiving the rest we so desperately need is to come unto Him because He is always there.
The definition of COME is to move or travel toward. In other words, we have to make a concerted effort to move. Sometimes we have to move out of our comfort zone. Other times we have to simply travel toward a place of solitude.
While on this earth, Jesus had to go to a place removed from others to find the solitude he needed. In Mark 1:35, it says, “And in the morning, rising up a great while before day, he went out, and departed into a solitary place, and there prayed.”
He instructed his disciples to do the same thing in Mark 6:31. “And he said unto them, Come ye yourselves apart into a desert place, and rest a while: for there were many coming and going, and they had no leisure so much as to eat.” (KJV Bible).
In the day and time we live, we need to heed the instruction of Jesus even more closely by separating ourselves from those things that distract us from the most important things in our lives. While certain seasons of life will be a barrage of distractions that are difficult to escape, we can consciously choose to remove ourselves…even if only for a few moments.
Because it is in those moments of solitude that we can find the rest we are seeking. We can spend time with our families without being tied to a technological device. We can choose to embrace the fact that we will mess up, but we have a loving God who wants us to come to Him.
What is Most Important?
That’s a good question, and the answer will look different for each of us. In my own life, I want to put the Lord first, my family second, and then everything else AFTER those. But, if you were to look at my daily, weekly, or monthly schedule, those things that are supposed to be my top priorities aren’t even written in my calendar.
Instead of being the first things I do, they become the things that “I will get to when I finish _____.” You can fill in the blank. And that is when I remember them. Most of the time, I don’t even think about my quiet time or focused quality time with my family until it’s already bedtime. And by then, it’s too late.
I will be the first to admit that I’ve seen my Bible lying by my bed, and I’ve chosen to play a game on the IPAD or scroll through IG instead. I am embarrassed to admit this, but I’ve also let my kids watch television and play their XBOX so that I can waste time on social media instead of cultivating a deeper relationship with my Lord.
Lately, I’ve begun to realize that when they see me doing this, I’m not giving them an example I want them to emulate. I want them to choose Jesus over everything else, yet I am teaching them through my actions that the desires of my flesh (i.e. social media, television, selfishness) are what is most important to me.
I agree with Paul in Romans 7:15, “For that which I do, I allow not; for what I would, that do I not; but what I hate, that do I.” Unfortunately, we are trapped in bodies cursed to endure sin. The things our spirit wants to do are in direct contradiction with what our flesh wants. My preacher has talked about “feeding” our flesh and our spirit, and whichever one you feed more becomes stronger.
For most of us, it’s our flesh.
So, How Do I Change?
Well, you know as well as I do that change is hard…especially when it is going against every fiber of your flesh. I know it’s frustrating, but taking a hard look at our lives will help us become overcomers. If you’re like me, you don’t want to just “make it through” this life; you want to thrive.
Well, the first step is deciding what are the most important relationships in your life. To begin, ask yourself these questions…
- What are the three most important relationships in my life?
- Are my current daily activities and choices cultivating or undermining those priorities?
- Have I allowed the Devil to derail my efforts by becoming distracted?
- What is one thing I can choose to change today to move in the direction I want to go?
The second step is putting certain safeguards in place to help you focus on those relationships.
- Set aside time for nurturing your relationship with the Lord and write it in your planner FIRST before anything else!!
- Decide how much time you want to devote to your family (without ANY technology) daily and write it in your planner!!
- Have tech-free or social media-free weekends (for everyone) and write it in your planner!!
Are you noticing a pattern? Yes, I’m completely aware I told you to “write it in your planner” 3 times, but it’s just that important. If you don’t own a planner, write it down somewhere you’ll see it. The fact is, the things we see are the things we get done.
The last step is giving yourself grace. I used to have the world’s worst “all or nothing” attitude about everything. If I messed up at all, I would consider my efforts a failure. But, as I have gotten older and hopefully a little wiser, I have come to realize that any forward motion is still movement in the right direction.
Yes, there are things that will need to get done each day, but there are other things that we can remove to create space in our “busy and distracted lives” for Jesus. And if we are doing that, we are going to naturally create more quality time with our families.
That being said, it isn’t going to be easy. You can bet the Devil is going to throw every distraction he can into your path, and your flesh is going to want to give in. But, if you are serious about reprioritizing your life to make room for the most important relationships, it’s worth it.
To help you with this new mindset and to get your true priorities in front of you, I have a Distraction-Free Action Plan Printable for you. You can find this printable under Action Plans in the library. (If you don’t have the password, just go to the Free Resources page for directions to gain access.)
We need to put aside the Martha “mindset” of being cumbered, and instead put on the glorious restful “mindset” of Mary. Simply sitting at the feet of Jesus everyday will change our outlook. Remember, whichever gets fed more, your flesh or your spirit, will prevail.