Are Distractions Causing You to Lose Focus?

To be honest, 2018 has, thus far, been a difficult year.  Extra stress, not enough sleep & relational difficulties are making me a bit grumpy. 

Seasons like this can steal my joy.   My heart longs to live my life valuing my relationship with Jesus so much, that I sit at His feet, eagerly listening for words that will bring me true fulfillment without distraction.  But too often, I just don’t.   There are so many things that assault my focus on Him.  Family, work, friends, even church can blur my focus. 

Let’s be real, we do have responsibilities in this world.  Resting in Jesus doesn't mean never doing any work in life.  It means not becoming bogged down & overwhelmed by those responsiblities.  Many of our responsibilities are good and a blessing from God, but we must not let them distract us from Jesus.  This is how the enemy steals our joy.

Now it happened as they went that He {Jesus} entered a cetain village & a certain woman named Martha welcomed Him into her house.  And she had a sister called Mary, who also sat at Jesus’ feet & heartd His word.  But Martha was distracted with much serving & she approached Him & said, “Lord, do You not care that my sister has left me to serve alone?  Therefore tell her to help me.”  And Jesus answered & said to her, “Martha, Martha, you are worried & troubled about many things.  But one thing is needed & Mary has chosen that good part, which will not be taken away from her.”  {Luke 10:38-42}

Remember this story of Mary & Martha?  Just imagine the joy Martha initially had knowing Jesus was coming to her village and He would be stopping at her house.  There was already a deep relationship between Jesus and Martha, she was part of His “inner circle” of friends, so she would have been thrilled at His imminent visit. 

But somewhere between the news of His coming & the time of His coming, distraction set in.  I’m sure when she realized she needed to clean her house & run to the market, stress built up & it turned into anger & then she might’ve yelled at all the people in her house.  {I’m just sayin’ that might be a possibility}

I imagine that by the time Jesus arrived, the tension between the two sisters was already high. 

Martha forgot, in the middle of common hospitality, where her focus was supposed to be.  She began to believe a lie that the importance was in the work & not in the relationship. 

So she asked Jesus, don’t you even care that my sister is not helping me with all the work?   Martha was so overwhelmed and anxious about ordinary matters, that she actually questioned the goodness & character of Jesus. 

I can sympathize with Martha.  I, too often, let ordinary matters cause me to be overwhelmed & anxious about my life too.  Whether I allow my to-do list to cause the stress, or whether unforseable circumstances take me there, the place where I find myself overwhelmed with life, blinds me to the fact that Jesus has my circumstances under control.  Nothing in my life takes Him by surprise & nothing can happen in my life, whether self imposed or not, that He cannot handle & that He cannot give me strength to handle.

So how do we keep our focus on Jesus in the midst of life’s responsibilities & difficulties?

·               Be Grateful ~ we must be thankful for the cares He has given us.   Being thankful for things like our family, friends & job, among others, will keep us focused on Him.  We must, however, not foolishly draw added pressure or distraction on ourselves.  Anxieties, not workload, distract us from Jesus.  We can stay focused on His great love even in the midst of extremely busy days.   This will overflow into joy that shows the world a reflection of Jesus. {1 Thessalonians 5:18, 1 Peter 1:6, James 1:2-4, Romans 12:12}

·               Watch our Words ~ Instead of asking “Jesus, don’t you care”, we need to say, “Jesus I know You care, so show me how to be focused on You in the midst of my life.”  He has promised to help us; we must just be willing to receive his help.  Our words in the middle of stressful times must be chosen carefully.  Careless words during seasons of high stress & anxiety can be hurtful to people we love & can draw our own focus away from Jesus. {John 1:16, Psalm 46:1, Hebrews 4:15-16, Isaiah 41:10}

·               Evaluate Stress ~ Ask God for guidance to know if what we are stressed about is really an issue that matters.  Sometimes we just need to take things off our plate.  Even ‘good’ things might not be right for your season of life.  Evaluate your responsibilities & the affect it is having on you mentally, physically & spiritually.  {Psalm 32:8, James 1:5, Romans 12:2}

Have you taken your distractions to the Father in prayer?  Have you asked Him for guidance to know how to deal with your anxieties?  Ask Him to show you how to rest in His love while dealing with the things that are difficult in your life.