There’s clock in my office that is positioned directly above my desk – directionally, it’s at 12 o’clock. On days I remember, I wear a watch on my right wrist, being that I’m left handed. When you look at my desk, you’ll see my laptop, desktop computer, and when not being used for music, my cell phone. Just in my little area I have five devices telling me how time is passing.
I remember in high school, one of the classrooms had a sign to the right of the clock that read:
“Time will pass. Will you?”
For those of us who constantly checked to see when we’d be able to leave the room, that was a great question. As I think over that sign today, no longer is the question whether or not I’ll pass. The question has become whether or not I’ll be present. My mind is always moving me to the next thing – the next to do item, the next day, the next month, and when my mind really gets going, the next year(s). Today, I sat at my desk towards the end of my day feeling tired and distracted. Thinking about my to do list but also mentally acknowledging the fact that I already sensed my couch calling my name. Tired and distracted. Those two words are how I would describe my most recent days. I have slept past my alarm most mornings, justifying with any reason possible to push snooze. I have struggled staying engaged (and even awake) while reading God’s Word. I sit here and type those words and shake my head at that fact. I think to myself: God is anything BUT boring and yet, there I go nodding off…again.
On my drive home today I decided to express to God how I was feeling rather than continuing on without any intention of changing it. I can go on throughout my day looking forward instead of heavenward as Paul speaks of in Philippians. What a difference that prefix makes. That change of direction changes everything. As I told God how tired I’ve been, I felt a nudge to begin singing along to the worship music that was playing in my car. As I began to pay more and more attention to the words I was singing, the song – Your Love is Wild by Zealand Worship began to play. The chorus says:
‘Cause your love is wild
Fire in my soul
Your love is wild
Greater than I know
And I’m coming alive, coming alive
And it’s beautiful
I’m coming alive, coming alive
‘Cause you are beautiful
My chest began to lighten, my eyes began to lift. I wanted those words to just wash over me. I wanted my eyes and my heart to focus on the pioneer and perfecter of my faith. Jesus. I wanted my focus to be on Jesus.
As I sit here and write, all I can think about is wanting my focus to be on Jesus. You see, when I constantly think of Jesus my heart is moved towards people. Jesus loves his people. When I reflect on those times where I’m distracted and tired, what did I miss out on? What is it that those feelings have kept and are keeping me from? Simply put: people. My family, my friends, my coworkers, my patients, and the strangers God positioned in my path – it’s people I miss out on. The ones Jesus died for. My distraction keeps me from them and them from me.
At one point in my life, I was OK with that. I wasn’t a big fan of people frankly because I wasn’t a fan of myself. I would blame my intolerance of others on the generalized conception that people were dishonest, mean, and selfish. Bottom line…I was projecting the very thing I saw in myself onto others. Today, thanks to the grace and mercy of Jesus, I don’t want to miss out on those people. I hope to be a light in a world of darkness but when distraction plagues me, I become ineffective in that pursuit.
I don’t want to be tired, distracted, and rendered ineffective – focusing my eyes forward. Instead, give me the awareness of Your presence. God I want to look heavenward so I don’t miss out on your people. I don’t want to miss out on experiencing You. I pray for peace, contentment, and security for all those who will ever read this and those who may never read this but simply sit on the hearts of those who do. In a world of “more” God, give us the contentment only found in You. Thank you for Jesus. Thank you for the grace to turn our eyes on Your Son and away from distraction and the sin that entangles us. I pray for a simple change of direction and the courage to do so.
Thank you God for who You are and for loving us first. I love you too.