More and more, it feels like my greatest battle is against distraction. The unexpected phone call. The “quick question” that turns into a 45 minute conversation. Social media. Email. Checking out houses on Redfin even though we aren’t in the market. Gossip. A few texts. Breaking news. Netflix.
It all adds up and there are days when I wonder if I’ve really accomplished anything. Busy? Definitely. Tired? Absolutely! Productive? I’m not sure. Connected to God? I know He’s with me but I don’t seem all that aware of His presence.
I know Jesus isn’t intimidated by the chaos of my life. I know He isn’t running scared. I know He doesn’t stay home sipping coffee while I go to work. I know He’s with me. He promises that in His Word, “I am with you always.” (Mt. 18:20) He’s not the problem. I am. I loose sight of Him and get focused on a thousand other things.
For me, the battle for focus starts long before the sun is up. I’m learning the more I connect with God in the morning, the more He shapes the chaos of my days. I know how simple that sounds. But I also know there’s a huge difference between “doing my quiet time” and connecting with God. I can have a really well structured quiet time and totally miss God. It happens more often than I would like to admit. I power through a devotional book, journal a few thoughts, read some Scripture and pray a few rote prayers. Quiet time done. God missed. And then there are days when those same raw ingredients combine to create a beautiful encounter with God. His voice is clear, His presence is real, His love is almost tangible. Most of the times, the difference is found in my expectations – power through or slow down and meet with Jesus?
When I slow down and meet with Jesus in the morning, He’s so much easier to see throughout the day. He’s there helping me say no, avoid distractions and do what He’s called me to do. When the unavoidable interruptions of life come, He’s there reassuring me He’s still working even though we’re off my script. He’s near and real and everything’s better.
Yes, there are ways to manage distractions. But it’s not like they’re going away. And it’s not like Jesus is going away. I’m just much more focused on staying connected with Him during the day. And I’m finding that my best shot at connection during the day is connection before the day gets started.