As I sit down to read my Bible, it seems as if everything is pulling me away from reading God’s word. The pet’s water bowl is empty. Oh look the cat wants some food in her bowl. The dog wants outside. Now guess what I have to go utilize the lady’s room. When will it end? When will I finally get to sit down and read the Bible? Ah here we go. Proverbs 6:6-7, 16-19: Okay I read most of the chapter, but these are the verses that called out to me.
6 Go to the ant, you sluggard; consider its ways and be wise! 7 It has no commander, no overseer or ruler, 8 yet it stores its provisions in summer and gathers its food at harvest.
16 There are six things the Lord hates, seven that are detestable to him: 17 haughty eyes, a lying tongue, hands that shed innocent blood, 18 a heart that devises wicked schemes, feet that are quick to rush into evil, 19 a false witness who pours out lies and a person who stirs up conflict in the community.
There are days that I try so hard to do my work. Things keep me from my task. I wonder is it a message from God? I used to think that when things were keeping me from my work, that it was God telling me this is not what I want you to do. Then I would call out to God asking what do you want me to do? Nothing but this tiny whisper – “GET BACK ON TASK”. Okay it is not exactly a whisper. I have a bit of ADHD and I am easily distracted. It is not that other things are not important they are. It is just my own little world, the one where I am a heroine, pops into my mind. Then the shout comes, it is always telling me to get back on task. Okay it might not be those words, but the point is that it is a shout in my head. Oh by the way, I am literally a heroine in my mind. I come in and save the hostage, I pull people out of burning buildings, and sometimes I give the speech that propels people into action. I know that I have to be like the ant, have you ever watched ants? They are constantly gathering or building. Place a distraction in their path, they march over or around, whichever is easiest. Here are two experiments that I have tried to deter the little ant from its objective. A drop of water, it will go around. Put a leaf or other non-liquid obstacle in its path and the little ant will go over it, no matter how big the obstacle is. But place one tiny drop of liquid onto the path and the tiny ant will go around. The point is the evil one is always placing obstacles into our path. We have to decide not to allow them to derail us. What has derailed you this past week? How can you stop allowing distractions? It all depends on what it is. Take for example last week, I am in the middle of an article and I realize that I need to get my taxes done. They are not due for another month or so but right now today they have to be done. Then there were two dentist appointments, an eye appointment. Okay some of those things can be moved to different times. The eye appointment could have been easily moved, but we waited two months for the dental appointment. There are distractions and then there are obstacles. Some obstacles take longer to get over than others. For example, the weather threw us an obstacle this week. But my decision to get the taxes done that was distraction. It could have waited, but I allowed the evil one to convince me that this is more important than the task God gave me to do. I am getting better and telling the difference, but not always. Sometimes I think that something that had to be done anyhow just needed to be done now. It didn’t but …. The clue is if this thing that I just have to do right now is unnecessary at this moment. Sure paying my bills is important and they have to be done. That is what a reminder on my phone does. It reminds me to get online and pay those bills. Taking out a few minutes to pay the bills through my bank, is not as bad as going to websites and paying the bills. Or worse, this month, I had to run to the electric company to pay my bill. While on this errand, I learned that the electric company had moved across town. Which took more time that I wanted it to take, when all I really had to do is pay attention to the reminder that had popped up on my phone 5 days ago, when I could have gone online to my bank and paid it in about 2 minutes? I have realized two truths about myself; I have a tendency to organize to the Nth degree. Which is to say I over organize. Not only do the books have to be on the shelf, they need to be there divided by genre, and subdivided by author. Then there are my favorite books which sit on a shelf all by themselves, and they are lined up by which book I like the most. I would love to tell you that the Bible is on that shelf, but the truth is that it is always out away from its home. Then one day, I realized that my love of organization was a tool the evil one uses to keep me distracted. Now I am working on being organized but only to a certain degree. I am learning the difference between organized as a tool to keep my scattered brain on track, and being organized has become a distraction. Oh what a task. But to be the ant, I need to do this. I have to keep moving in a forward direction following the call of the Lord. The tasks that the Lord has placed in front of me are much more important than getting my taxes submitted a whole month and a half early than I need to submit them. Wait a second, why did I include verses 16-19? They are all distractions to living a God-fearing life. If we are not leading a God fearing life, then we are living the life Satan wants us to live-DISTRACTED FROM THE TRUTH. The truth is that God is the one who provides life. It is God’s plans that I need to follow. Not my plans and certainly not the evil ones plans. So I need to stay focused on Jesus the one true king.