Everyone is so distracted these days. By what? The myriad alert sounds that emanate from our “smart” phones and such. You know, we are not so smart if we allow those little things to whip us the way they do. I sometimes feel like I’m at its beck and call. I’m on call for pretend emergencies. Enough!

And clutter distracts me. I hate you, clutter. Those papers I don’t know what to do with…

And good things distract me. There are so many opportunities! So many wonderful things to choose from. We try to do too much sometimes don’t we?

We can be distracted by work, distracted by play.

What am I being distracted from? What is it I am supposed to be doing anyway?

I should be more focused. I will be more organized. Yeah right. I’m running away!

I will close my eyes and run to God as fast as I can. I don’t have to go far. He is with me, even permeating me. Let me steep in that thought for a while… that God, infinitely big and infinitely small inhabits every cell in my body. Weird. Amazing. Overwhelming. A little scary.

But because I have entrusted my eternal whereabouts to Jesus, his Holy Spirit calls me and my earthly shell his home. When it comes to God, there’s no such thing as too good to be true.

Sometimes the Holy Spirit will distract me. But this is not something to resist. It will pop into my head that I need to contact someone or pray for someone. I’ve learned I better do it. It often turns out that they were thinking of me too, or that they really were in need of a friend right then.

This doesn’t mean that I am flaky or flighty or have ADD. It means I’m learning to discern the distraction of the Holy Spirit as different than earthly distraction. When I follow the promptings of the Holy Spirit to call someone or whatever it may be, I feel fulfilled. When I follow the promptings of the alert sounds, and find myself way down some rabbit hole/worm hole on the internet, I feel violated.

The distractions of the Holy Spirit are soft whispers that beckon, beautiful. Easily overlooked. Drowned out by the din. But since they come from within, shouldn’t we be able to hear them better? It seems to take much practice and prayer and faith.

Also, the more I get to know God, the more I realize how little of Him I know, and how much more of Him there is! Infinite! And that I cannot fully know Him (here), but that I am fully known by Him who created me. “Now we see but a poor reflection as in a mirror; then we shall see face to face. Now I know in part; then I shall know fully, even as I am fully known.” 1 Corinthians 13:12

Dear God, please insulate me against the viral distractions that threaten to infect me. Help me to filter the enveloping noise, aural and visual. Open my eyes, ears, and heart to your beautiful distractions…

To go calmly through my day, I will meditate on the thought that there are no surprises or accidents… in God’s eyes.

It may be an accident to me, or even a disaster, but He foreknew.

I left my phone at home when I rushed out the door to take the kids to school. Oh no! I was supposed to make an important call on my way back!

Then I am reminded, He knew I was going to forget my phone. Perhaps He wants my full attention as I am alone in the car on the way home. Maybe He has something important to express to me. The panic drains. I’ll make that call later, and enjoy the quiet ride home. Contented sigh.

I then find my phone, in my pocket. (Mommy brain strikes again!) I will make that call after all.

But this seemingly simple or silly episode has left an impression on me. If there are no surprises to God, then shouldn’t I find that to be a great comfort the next time I’m caught off guard?

As long as I am focused each day on Him and what He wants to do through me, what have I got to worry about?

I pray often that He will help me to be the person He made me to be, and to do the good works he prepared in advance for me to do. (inspired by Ephesians 2:10 “For we are God’s workmanship, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.”)

But when things do go awry, and they certainly will, “Our God, however, turned the curse into a blessing.” (Nehemiah 2d)

So even the bad things, can be turned into blessings. Perhaps it was a blessing in disguise from the outset anyway. I just throw up my hands in surrender and awe as I begin to grasp the absolute sovereignty of God.

By acknowledging God’s sovereignty in *every* situation (despite my unstable, volatile, unreliable, fearful feelings about the situation), I am stepping aside from the “accident” scene, almost like stepping outside of time for a minute, and into that green pasture, where I can discuss the situation with God Himself.

I can boldly approach the one and only God of the entire universe! And I can ask Him, “What’s going on here?! What do I do?” And wisdom will come. (“Let us then approach the throne of grace with confidence, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help us in our time of need.” Hebrews 4:16) And He will help me sort through my piles of messy feelings as I talk with Him about them.

When we look for God, we find Him. (“You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart.” Jeremiah 29:13) Sometimes, we see Him and don’t realize it. As we get to know Him, we begin to recognize Him more and more, seeing evidence of Him everywhere. And the more we recognize Him, we begin to comprehend His omnipresence. He is everywhere all the time. It is mind-blowing and comforting.

I wasn’t looking for Him this morning – I was looking for my phone. I didn’t choose to have peace when I came to the conclusion I must have left it at home. I credit Him (and his grace and sovereignty) for reminding me that He knew I was going to forget my phone, and He knew it was my pocket all along, and He knew that He was going to teach me that there are no surprises to Him.

But now that He’s taught me this, I think it’s my responsibility to remember it the next time I am surprised and tempted to panic. The way a small child looks to the parent for how to react to an uncertain situation, I will look to my Parent, who is never surprised.


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