Sampson is an extremely obedient dog. He walks with me without a leash most of the time, he stays in his yard…until he sees a squirrel. Some kind of little furry critter makes him forget who he normally is all the rules go right out the window.
Distractions. You know the truth of who you are and Whose you are and when things are quiet and peaceful it’s easy to live in that truth. You claim all of God’s blessings and promises and are quick to praise Him with a thankful heart…until your attention is diverted by unforeseen circumstances.
Distractions. When they come, we divert to our nature – the “normal” way to handle things: anger, frustration, despair, desire, despondency, depression, etc.
Something we want or desire consumes our every thought and emotion. Something bad makes our faith (or lack thereof) wax and wane. Whether it’s a good thing or a bad thing, if we focus all our attention on it we can be swept away to places we never intended to go. Distractions come in all kinds of packages. For sure, anything that leads us down a path we never intended taking and/or know we shouldn’t go on is a distraction from who we’re intended to be and what we’re made to do.
These are the times that we should remember our foundation – the truth of God and what He says but our humanness takes over. “Well, that’s just the way I am”; “God made me He knows my heart” are often our weak excuses to go our own way and do our own thing.
Sampson ran after a squirrel one day completely oblivious to passing cars and other dangers around him. He was almost killed. He was 100% focused on the distraction and nothing else. We sometimes do the same. We can’t see the dangers lurking and we don’t realise how far we have wandered until we find ourselves having to walk the long way back.
I used to pride myself in my strong faith. I thought I had it going on with God until life threw me curveballs I never saw coming. I found myself in a very dark place with a boatload of doubt. I’m still recovering from the effects of my “falling away”. I considered myself so close to God air couldn’t get between us and when the distractions/trials came, I found myself doubting He was with me at all.
Distractions show us who we really are. No matter what form they take they’re designed, I believe not to punish us or make us pay for something we’ve done or not done, but to do just that: show us what we’re made of and how strong our faith really is.
Sometimes we allow ourselves to be swept away by something that becomes more important to us and sometimes bad things happen we have no control over. When they happen (and they will happen), it’s up to us to “go back” to God who is the only sure, steady and stable foundation we have. During the quiet and peaceful times in life when it’s good are the times to grow closer to God, reaffirm and believe because as long as we’re alive there will always be something to try to draw us away. But be reassured, God NEVER moves or changes. He is ALWAYS there, and will always welcome you back. We just have to decide to “go back” to Him.
Just like now – can’t find Sampson. He’s been hooked by another distraction. Thankfully right now, I’m not but I’m preparing for the next one. I pray you are, too.
James 1:6 “But he must ask in faith without any doubting, for the one who doubts is like the surf of the sea, driven and tossed by the wind.”