This weekend I went home to celebrate Mother’s Day with my parents. On Thursday, I had a list of things I needed to do: clean, pack, write, etc. By 1:00, instead of making any progress on my list, I’d done two things that weren’t even on it. Granted, in hindsight, they needed to be done too, but they weren’t knocking anything off my to-do list. Who hasn’t had a day like that? 🙂
It occurred to me, as I checked my iPod again to see if it was done charging, that we all have agendas for our lives. We have goals and plans. But so often, we get distracted by other things we think we “need” to do that, while good and productive, do nothing to advance us toward those goals we’ve set.
The Bible warns us against getting too caught up in our own plans and reminds us that God’s got some things planned for us that may or may not be what we have in mind (James 4:13-15 again, and of course, Jeremiah 29:11). I don’t think for a second that God doesn’t want us to have plans and goals for our future. He gave us the capacity to dream. I think He likes it when we think about our futures (as long as we don’t get too set in our own plans that we don’t leave room for His leading). Jesus said that He came so that we would full, abundant lives (John 10:10) and part of having a full life involves thinking ahead, hoping, planning and dreaming.
But just like we can get caught up in our own visions for the future, we can also get distracted and never quite get around to doing the things we always thought we would do – or the things God has for us to do. Psalm 139:16 tells us that God knew exactly when we would be born and He knows exactly when we will die. He also knows every day in between those two events and He has things He wants us to do with them. But like poor Martha, we can get so distracted with things that are good and productive, that we either miss God’s leading, or we continually wander off to take care of more pressing matters to the detriment of full obedience. Are we missing an opportunity God has given us to be a blessing to someone else because we’re in such a rush to get to the store and get home to make dinner that we didn’t see their need? Did we fail to speak His words of encouragement to someone because we were too busy running to the next thing on Sunday morning? We need to be on the look out, not only for God, but for the distractions, and preoccupations that satan throws in our way. (More on that tomorrow…)
What’s your tendency? Do you get distracted from or preoccupied with your dreams?