Had they not seen each other for years? Were they reunited friends from high school? ‘Kindred spirits’ as Anne of Green Gables would say? Their voices rang through the library with no awareness of my 9-year old’s exasperation. The math workbook in front of her could not compete with the endless stories the two boisterous ladies shared. “Mom, I can’t focus! It’s too loud. ”
The peace and stillness of the bright, sunny library from an hour earlier was gone. Happy chatter, shrieking toddlers, shuffling books, story telling, the opening and closing of the front door, encouraging words being shared with children. None of it bad. All good, energizing, fun noises filling the large room. None of it bad, but all of it drowning the intention and desires we had for the morning. Our intention? Focused learning time at the library. Our desire? To complete school work before music class.
I leave my prayer closet in the morning, filled with the Lord’s truth, equipped with His word in my mind, peace filling my heart. My intention is to share His kindness with my family. My desire is to remain focused on His goodness from the time I step foot out of that door until the time I lay down to sleep that night.
Of course, the enemy has a different plan. A different whisper in my ear. It often comes in the way of distractions. Just like the interruptions at the library this morning, they are not bad things. Not displeasing to the Lord. Not harmful to anyone else. But, none-the-less, they are things that threaten to take away from the Lord’s desires and intentions for my day.
Find some black shoes that fit my kids for their choir concert. Decorate the house. Make a vet appointment for the cat. Teach fractions. Take daughter to new gymnastics class. Return library books. Go to 5 doctor’s appointments in a 2 week period. Teach multiplication. Buy stamps. Christmas shopping. Find a good gluten-free Christmas cookie recipe. Take daughter to basketball practice. Figure out why the library account is blocked.
We all have it. The never-ending list, the pull in many directions, the disturbances, and the drowning out of the Spirit’s voice.
Sometimes the answer is to say, “No”, to guard your schedule, and protect your family from unnecessary busyness. I am blessed with a husband who diligently protects our schedules. He asks questions such as, “Will committing to that event cause unnecessary stress? Do we have anything else scheduled that day? Will we still have a few hours of unscheduled time that weekend?”
But, sometimes the answer is to renew your focus, purpose, and heart.
Her face and voice filled with vulnerability. She shared of her struggle to focus on the Lord’s goodness throughout her day. The message at church stung. My eyes filled with tears as I could so closely relate. I long to leave my prayer closet and end the day with my heart focused on the Lord, sitting at His feet, waiting on Him, listening to Him, seeing the people in my life through His eyes. But, other voices creep, slither, and worm their way in.
Other days are filled with busyness, yet my heart remains at peace and my thoughts and actions are guided by the Lord’s voice. So, what gives? If it’s not always the busy schedule overpowering His voice, what’s the deal?
It’s my deceitful flesh. My flesh putting my needs before all others. My flesh tricking me into thinking I am doing it all on my own. My flesh telling me I am failing at all I do. I could have a clear schedule and still not be at peace in my heart, if my flesh is ruling and the Spirit is not heard.
My only hope is to pray for a Holy Spirit interruption…taking my focus off myself and on to what the Lord has for me. The way to do that is through the Word:
Romans 8:8, Those who are in the flesh cannot please God.
Romans 8:6, For to set the mind on the flesh is death, but to set the mind on the Spirit is life and peace.
Romans 8:5, For those who live according to the flesh set their minds on the things of the flesh, but those who live according to the Spirit set their minds on the things of the Spirit.
Psalm 73:26, My flesh and my heart may fail, but God is the strength of my heart
and my portion forever.
In this season filled with wonder, hope, joy, love, excitement…and distraction, may we drown out the enemies lies and attempts to steal our peace. May we immerse ourselves even deeper into God’s Word. May we quiet our souls to hear from Him.
Please keep my eyes fixed on You,
Please root my heart so deep in You,
Keep me abiding, Keep me abiding, Keep me abiding,
That I would bear fruit.
Jeremy Riddle Full Attention