Distractions are everywhere. Even as I sit to write this, I'm completely distracted by the photos scrolling across my television as it sits in "sleep mode". Pictures from when my husband and I were dating, wedding showers, baby showers, and baby pictures of our first born. I keep seeing myself before I was married. I seemed to have it all together, I knew who I was and where I was going. My quiet times during that stage of my life were so long and in depth. My prayer time was only compromised by the back of my eyelids. Fast forward seven years, now that baby is five years old (not in school yet), and now there are two more of them. My days are spent re-cleaning the room that I just cleaned because a toddler has invariably come behind me and messed up all of the tidying that I have just done. I mean, is it even worth it? Not only has the cleanliness of my house drastically suffered over the last few years, but so has my quiet time. I chase a lot of squirrels, if you will. Almost literally; if my children were squirrels. I think that they are entertained with some independent play, so I sit down with my Bible. I must be doing a poor job of teaching them what the Bible is and it's importance in our lives because I seem to have instead taught them that a Bible is a reminder that they are hungry and want a snack or a cue to pick a fight with a sibling. I try to get some one on one time in with God after they have gone to bed or early in the morning before they wake up, but, I'm a tired momma who can't seem to keep her eyes open if the house is quiet. I also get distracted by all of the things around the house that need to be done and struggle with a little bit of guilt if I sit down with my Bible and study rather than finishing the laundry or sweeping the floor.
My husband once suggested going to a coffee shop and I tried it. There was a couple across the room that were obviously on a date and I couldn't help but watch them, and the girls sitting at the table next to me were having a serious conversation about some TV show that I had never heard of. It made me feel both old and out of touch AND guilty for, yet again, not accomplishing a quality quiet time.
Life is full of distractions. We are supposed to constantly seek after the Lord and long to be in His presence. How do we do that when life is demanding and spare time is rare. This week we looked at Mary and Martha. Martha couldn't not focus on the tasks that needed to be done because she was hosting company in her home. Mary couldn't not focus on Jesus and hang on His every word (as we should). When Martha becomes so frustrated that Mary is not helping her do the things, she finally can't handle it anymore and asks Jesus to correct Mary and tell her to pitch in. To Martha's surprise, however, Jesus corrects her instead. He tells her that Mary has chosen the better thing. (Luke 10:38-42)
Most people discuss Mary and Martha and tell us that when we're in the presence of Jesus we must give Him our full attention and not let ourselves be distracted by the things around us, and that is absolutely true. Jesus is worthy of our full and undivided attention. If Jesus were sitting in my living room, I don't think that I would be able to focus on anything else. The thing is, is that Jesus IS in our living room. We as believers have the indwelling of God, the Holy Spirit, within us and he NEVER leaves. He is with us always. Mary chose the better thing because Jesus wasn't staying in their living room forever. At some point He would end His time there and leave. Praise God, we never have to be out of His presence.
So let's begin to acknowledge that. We can sit down and have an amazing quiet time when we are able to, or when we are disciplined enough to get up before the children (pointing at myself here), but when that study and prayer time is over God doesn't leave us. As we close our Bible or our study book and go about our day, He goes with us. As we pour juice, slice grapes, pack lunches, drive carpools, clean bathrooms, fold laundry, go to work, cook dinner, tuck them in at night, and wonder why we're so tired...God is right there beside us. Let's invite Him to be a part of what we're doing. Let's continue the conversation with Him and pray over our children as we put their clothes away, pray over our husbands as we meal plan what they will eat that week, pray over our homes and anyone who may enter as we sweep the floors. Ask for guidance while we drive through pick up lines, ask for HELP as we try to dissolve tantrums. I could go on, but I'm sure you get the picture. We don't have to be distracted by all of the things if we invite God to be with us in all of the things.
If you haven't already, listen to Kristy and Amanda on this weeks podcast episode, Squirrels, as they discuss distractions, how to live in God's presence all of the time, and of course as they chase a few squirrels themselves. You can listen on any podcast platform, or on the website at www.thesendhelppodcast.com/podcast