We are so privileged to choose what we accomplish each day. We can experience the satisfaction of a job well done or the distraction and pain of falling flat on our faces. Literally….
Recently, I was completing some work before I began a busy four days caring for my young granddaughters. My mind was absorbed with a million thoughts about my “to do” list. Breakfast was next on my list. I stood up from my computer, grabbed my coffee, briskly stepped towards the kitchen….my eyes focused, well, I don’t know where…and I proceeded to pitch forward over the big box I was using to pack up remaining Christmas decorations. My entire body landed flat on the floor with a jarring “thud!”
I sat on that hard floor, very mad at myself for not paying attention. I knew the box was there. But, more than that, I knew I was trying to do too many things. My “doing” kept me from paying attention to what was important…in this case, my own safety.
Here was another irony of the moment. The box I tripped over contains my Christmas manger scene. Honestly, this got my attention and did make me laugh a bit. God didn’t cause my fall, but He used that moment to emphasize the dangers of too much “doing” and not enough “being.” The manger reminded me that Jesus came to be in relationship with me, not to complete tasks for Him.
In the story of Martha and Mary (Luke 10:38-42), Jesus affirms Mary’s choice to sit at His feet and listen earnestly to His words. Her attentive focus was preferable to Martha’s busyness. Although Martha was distracted with preparations for His visit, Jesus said “few things are needed – but indeed only one. Mary has chosen what is better….”
I have a heart like Mary. I desire to sit at Jesus’ feet….to soak in the presence of the Holy Spirit. But, I am a long-time business woman accustomed to the “go-go-go” of the consulting world. It was a world that favored a strong Martha with clients to contact, tasks to complete, and projects to manage. I often struggled with how to spend meaningful time with God and successfully meet the job demands. After 25 years in business, old habits continue to die hard.
Here is what my distraction and unfortunate “trip over the box” taught me:
- Doing too many things at once and the distraction it breeds interferes with my relationship with Jesus. In my busyness, I spend less time in God’s Word and in prayer hearing His voice. I know that my life is much more peaceful and productive when I receive His direction in those early morning hours. A God-inspired idea or “to do” list is often much different than one I create on my own.
- Busyness and distraction results in lost opportunities within relationships. When we are juggling multiple tasks and responsibilities, we aren’t able to be fully present to those we love. Our families and friends know when they are a priority. We give them focused time and energy. We lay down our list. We do less and listen more. Mary did that for Jesus.
- Life changing moments happen when we are simply “being” with God and not constantly on the go. A simple prayer, a meaningful bible passage, or a revelation from someone we love can result in a great “ah-ha” where the Holy Spirit speaks to our heart and we grow in a deeper relationship with Him. There is nothing like those moments for peace and clarity in who you are and the One we serve.
Doing life is a necessity. We have families, businesses, and other responsibilities. Distraction and busyness are strong indicators that you are “doing” too much and “being” too little. Be with God, be with your family, be with your friends. You will find peace and sustenance, and be less likely to fall or fail!
I would love to hear your thoughts on distraction and doing less. My Facebook page is the best place to comment.