Over the weekend, I was out on tour again and amongst all the music and busyness took some time out to sit quietly beside the lake where we were staying. Suddenly, the whole sky was filled with cockatoos and other very loud birds.
The noise was very distracting and not what I had planned for my tranquil moments alone. However, as I sat watching the water and listening to the noise overhead, I concluded that I could allow the birds to distract and limit my time by the lake totally, or I could feed my focus, put some quiet music on to direct my thoughts and heart towards Jesus and continue to have my quiet time by the lake. As I did, I soon forgot about the birds and was able instead to appreciate the rest of my surroundings, the beautiful morning and what I felt Jesus was speaking to me.
Starve your distractions, feed your focus
The key to being less distracted and more focused is to "starve your distractions and feed your focus".
We do this by fixing our focus and concentrating on what we really want, much like I did this morning, or alternatively, we remove the cause or ourselves from the distraction.
It’s why Jesus, in the midst of ministering to the crowds, encouraged his friends to take the time to focus, refuel and pray. He knew that the demands and noise of the crowds could easily have distracted them away from what God wanted them to do and also exhausted their internal and external reserves. (Mark 6:31-32)
Today, if you are feeling distracted or know there are things in your world that are causing you to be unfocused or leading you down the wrong path, then I encourage you to take some time to:
Reflect on what you are spending your time thinking on and doing. Keep your goals, purpose and those relationships which are important front and centre in your life.
Clean out and organise your surroundings to limit distractions so that you can feed your focus.
Have technology-free times in the day.
Clarity brings result - Have a written to-do list, goals, and also any things that you are thinking about so you can clear your head and focus on each task and relationship with intentionality.
Take time to refuel your life through rest, good food, some time with Jesus and time out to prosper your soul.
“Then Jesus said, “Let’s go off by ourselves to a quiet place and rest awhile.” He said this because there were so many people coming and going that Jesus and his disciples didn’t even have time to eat. So they left by boat for a quiet place, where they could be alone.” (Mark 6:31-32)
“Pay attention to what I say. Listen carefully to my words. Don’t lose sight of them. Let them penetrate deep into your heart. For they bring life to those who find them and healing to their whole body."
"Guard your heart above all else, for it determines the course of your life. Avoid all perverse talk; stay away from corrupt speech."
Look straight ahead, and fix your eyes on what lies before you. Mark out a straight path for your feet; stay on the safe path. Don’t get side-tracked, keep your feet from following evil.” (Proverbs 4:20-27)
Prayer: Lord, please help me remain focused and be aware of those things in my life that can cause me to become distracted from what you have promised and spoken to me. Please help me to keep the main thing, the main thing. In Jesus name Amen.