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May 25, 2010

Constant Distractions

They seem to continually get in the way of pursuing God’s kingdom.

I love the movie Finding Nemo. Yes, it’s a delightful story with real truth packed in. But the reason I really love it is Dory, the blue tang fish with short-term memory loss. She has good intentions . . . and she gets distracted easily.

I often feel like I have an inner Dory. I want to be part of something significant and useful, but I am so easily distracted by any one of a million things: the to-do list, friends, an interesting article that leads to another interesting article that leads to more time wasted on the internet.

I recently realized that the most significant and useful thing I could ever participate in is the kingdom of God. (I can hear a chorus of “Duh”s right about now.) But what does the kingdom of God mean? It’s one of those phrases I’ve heard over and over in my lifetime of church attendance. Here’s an explanation I heard recently that stuck: the kingdom of God is the rule and reign of Christ.

Jesus as king is an image my Dory mind can latch on to. Is Jesus king of my distracted thoughts and my fleeting emotions? Is he king of how I see the relationships in my life? Is he king of how I spend my time and my energy every day? While asking myself these questions has been really eye-opening, in true Dory fashion, I can’t even think through these things without getting distracted.

I need help. I need God to help me make him king. Prayer is acknowledging before God and myself that I need him. It is spending time with my heavenly Father, letting him into my wandering mind to give me direction, motivation, and courage. I go to him with my distractions and neediness and ask him to sort it all out. I ask him to reign in my mind and heart and have that translate into my words and actions for that day. I ask for focus and wisdom in the place of my Dory distractedness. I ask for eyes to see and the desire to do the daily significant and useful things of God’s kingdom. This prayer happens multiple times a day because my inner Dory needs to get reined in often.

Ephesians 5:17 really sums it up perfectly: “Don’t act thoughtlessly, but try to understand what the Lord wants you to do.” When we ask him to be king of our thoughts and our actions, he is faithful to guide us.

Do you find yourself battling distraction? How do you stay focused on keeping Jesus king of your mind and life?

Related Tags: Prayer

Comments

This is a great article, Beatrice! I can totally relate to Dory and realize distraction to me also means not remembering the Lord throughout the day. As you so well put it, prayer is the main way the Lord directs my thoughts back to Him - prayer for others, prayers of thanksgiving and prayers asking Him for help. Thanks to you and Kyria for your wise, love-filled words!

Thanks for the great article, Beatrice. I totally relate! To help me combat my constant tendency toward distraction, I keep a prayer journal. For years this has helped me focus my thoughts and prayers during my queit time. Otherwise, I'm all over the map, praying, then creating a mental grocery list, then praying, and then thinking about the work I need to do. Thanks for sharing your heart on this topic!

Thanks for this great article. Beatrice, like you, I believe that the solution to "swim" from distraction to the King is prayer.

Dear Beatrice,
I appreciated your article, but I was disappointed that you did not include 3 Scriptures that mention "distraction" specifically.

"....to secure undistracted devotion to the Lord." 1 Cor. 7:35

"But I am afraid that, as the serpent deceived Eve by his craftiness your minds will be led astray from the simplicity and purity of devotion to Christ." 2 Cor.11:3

"But Martha was distracted...." Luke 10:38-42

Sincerely,
Kathleen

Hate to be picky but I think the fish's name was Dora not Dory

Distraction are like a bell ringing to sharpen ones mind in the world of God. So when one is ditracted think on a bible verse that will help you though it
God Bless,

Your Father God loves you so much he already no what you are going though Isaiah 26, 3 read it until it becomes apart you, it really helps me though. so can focus more on God the father. You will be alright God alreadt knows what you need strength in.
The father love you
God bless You.

Beatrice,
I normally just skim through many of the articles on kyria.com, but this article definitely kept my attention. Very well written and I loved your Nemo connections. Thank you for your wonderful article and wisdom. I hope to see more written by you. :)

Easy... "just keep swimming, swimming, swimming... just keep swimming..."

Thank you so much for describing Dory and her specialness. I have a huge distraction problem and like Dory I get distracted with everything. I love your article. Thanks for something I can relate too.

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