By Jean Newell, Associate Pastor, Sun Lakes United Methodist Church
With my memory being what it is these days, I find that I have to prepare for things ahead of time. For example, this may sound crazy, but as I get ready for bed at night, I set up the bathroom counter with everything I’ll need in the morning! Why? Because I’ve found in the past that I’d get distracted as I tried to get ready for the day. Sometimes it wouldn’t be until I was in the car and on my way to my destination that I’d realize I’d forgotten my watch or forgotten to brush my teeth or, even worse, forgotten my deodorant! There was no time to turn around and drive home to remedy the situation, so I’d “grin and bear it” and hope for the best!
So what goes on the counter? Face cleanser and moisturizer, toothbrush, toothpaste, floss, mouthwash, hairclips, necklace stand, small jewelry box, vitamins, hair dryer, brushes…and deodorant! Everyday items, and yet, there are days I get distracted attending to something else and forget to pick up where I left off in my morning routine!
How easy it is to get distracted in my everyday life. It’s just that easy to get distracted in my spiritual life and go on my merry way, focusing on myself and what I need to get done. When that happens—when I get distracted spiritually—that’s when life seems to be out of control… like a boat on a wind-tossed sea! That’s when doubt and worry and fear can do a number on my soul!
That’s when I need to listen to the words of the psalmist ringing in my heart, “Thy word is a lamp unto my feet and a light unto my path,” (Psalm 119:105). Life will always be full of distractions, but I’ve found if I’m intentional, taking time for devotions and prayer before I begin the day and before I turn out the bedside lamp at night brings peace to my weary soul.
As this new year begins, may the psalmist’s words ring in your heart! May you find time to put life’s distractions aside so that you might draw closer to the Lord and experience God’s “peace that passes all understanding” (Philippians 4:7).