Good Sunday to all of you!! How’s your weekend going? I hope good!
Here in Massachusetts it is snowing again, and I can’t get out too easily for church, so I have decided to make a pot of hot green tea with a dab of honey to sweeten, snuggle in and get back to my neglected writing. Yay!
So, this weekend my husband is off on a business trip and I planned to get lots done around the house in his absence. (I know – not much fun, but, I’ve put it off long enough.) I was diligent and Friday night made a nice to-do list of all I wanted to accomplish on Saturday after dropping him at the airport shuttle. I was determined to catch up on some much needed chores and my blog.
S0, I drop off my husband (yes, I will miss him, but am looking forward to the alone time!) and get back to the house around 6:30am. Unfortunately I am nearly delirious from yet another insomnia all-nighter and decide to lie down for a little while to refresh my eyes and clear the brain fog.
After drinking 2 cups of fully caffeinated coffee I thought I would be able to sleep?
Still, I lay down and I might have drifted off for a few minutes here and there, but after an hour or so, gave up and got up – yep, still dragging. My eyes weren’t quite so blurry though and I was determined to get to my to-do list. You know – the usual household chores, cleaning, laundry, meal planning, Grocery store. Making a few important phone calls, checking and returning emails. Having a good work out. And having a nice, long writing session, catching up on the blog. A lengthy list, but I intended to work hard and have a very productive day.
Well…you know what they say about good intentions – actually, I can’t really remember how that saying goes. But I do know that I really did have good intentions to get a lot done so I could spend Sunday relaxing and visiting with friends. How much did I actually get done though? Not much! Why?
I let myself be so distracted by other things. Uuugggh!! I hate it when that happens! Yet I seem to allow myself to be distracted by the same old things, time after time. And if it’s not an old thing distracting me, it’s some kind of new, exciting thing calling my name, enticing me to come have a look. Right? Does this happen to you too? I get so mad sometimes for letting myself get so distracted. I have the best intentions in the world and gear myself up for whatever task I have before me, and then wham! I’m blindsided and off I go again on some other jaunt. Ugh!
My usual distraction is trying to figure out what in the world I’m going to wear. But, as I already knew it would be a comfy sweats day, I didn’t have that distraction this time. Well, obviously my mind had to come up with something else with which to tempt me if it couldn't use clothes, the fear of looking unstylish, fat or frumpy, too old, or trying to look too young, etc. Or my hair. We won’t even get into that issue. But somehow, at 9:00 last night, I found myself sitting at my laptop wondering where the day had gone and why it was that I couldn't concentrate on putting two sentences together. Have you ever felt like that?
Well, let’s see, here’s where my day might have gone:
· I didn’t get any cleaning done – but, wait – I did watch a movie I had been wanting to see – which turned out to be something I shouldn't have been watching anyway.
· And I did take in a great episode of Love It or List It on HGTV, which has me distracted now with new decorating ideas.
· I didn’t get any email answered, but I did master an online puzzle, spider solitaire, and another game I don’t know what was.
· I did get a load of clothes in the wash, but they haven’t made it into the dryer yet.
· I didn’t get my work-out in, unless you count running the vacuum in the living room to pick up the pretzel crumbs I dropped.
· Pretzels because I didn’t make it to the store to get any real food.
· I didn’t get my phone calls made, but I did have a lively texting conversation with an old friend.
· I didn’t get the fridge cleaned out, however, I did get the dishes done!
So, actually, I did have a pretty busy day – a day full of sideshow distractions! And apparently, I’m not the only one who spends time with these. Hooray!! It’s nice to know I am not alone in my wanton partaking of this fun but totally unproductive malady. What in the world am I talking about? Haha! This:
Keep vigilant watch over your heart; that’s where life starts. Don’t talk out of both sides of your mouth; avoid careless banter, white lies, and gossip. Keep your eyes straight ahead; ignore all sideshow distractions. Watch your step, and the road will stretch out smooth before you. Look neither right nor left; leave evil in the dust.
(Proverbs 4:23-27 NLT)
Wow – I don’t think I have ever read that version (New Living Translation) before. It hit home to me today. What comes to mind when you think of a sideshow? A circus? That’s what I thought of. A sideshow to me sounds like a funny or scary secondary show in a traveling circus or carnival. And you know, when I think of how easily I was distracted by silly things yesterday - in truth, how easily I am distracted any time - it is funny. And sometimes it’s scary to me that I keep falling for the same old distractions, even when I set my mind to watch out for them. Can you relate?
But, hey, no problem! – The answer is here. Our direction in this Scripture says to keep vigilant watch over our hearts, because that is where life starts. All kinds of life. Good and not so good. In the same passage it says to avoid sideshow distractions.
So, maybe sideshow distractions can get rooted in our hearts
And begin to grow there?
And once they begin to grow, we are more susceptible to them?
Woah – is that the case with me and my issues with clothes and hair and wanting to look just right all the time? Because I haven’t ignored it, I’ve let that distraction gain ground in my heart, which gives it life and a stronger hold on me? And maybe I also have a subconscious rebellion to being responsible all the time growing in my heart? That’s why I was so easily and thoroughly distracted away from my chores yesterday?
Because I have given these distractions life by allowing them to pull me in
again and again?
Light bulb moment for me.
How about you? Are there distractions taking hold and gaining life in your heart?
Wow - I am still realizing the light that has just been shown on my heart. I definitely need to do some gardening and see what else I find. But what I know now is this:
If we keep our “eye on the prize” so to speak, or as the Scripture verse says, straight ahead: or more simply put – if we put our hearts into concentrating on the task in front of us - we will be more aware of what distractions we might see or hear, enticingly calling us to come out and play. By putting our hearts into it, I mean putting our whole self into our task, not half-heartedly, but whole-heartedly, whether we like the task or not.
If we are “wary” and shut down those distracting ideas as soon as we are aware of them, we can much more easily keep them from becoming full sideshow distractions and gaining root in our lives. By becoming less distracted, we can ultimately become more productive, more self-confident and successful people. Which in turn will allow us more time to pursue sideshows in life that are good!
So, let me ask you this: what sideshow distractions are in your life, keeping you from being the productive, confident and successful person you were meant to be?
Many rich and fun blessings to each of you and much less distractions,