A reader responded to my last post with this:
“Placing our cares with God and leaving them there is soo important and difficult at times. All He wants to do is to take care of us. All He wants us to do is rebound and take in His Word! He gives us the energy to do whatever He wants us to do. Seems simple but it takes concentration on God’s viewpoint and being aware of distractions. Enjoyed your article.”
Wonderful words. I love “all He wants to do is take care of us.” Which is hard to really live in, at least for me. Because it’s so against my human nature.
The part about being aware of distractions, though — yeah, that’s really important, but it’s also what’s been driving me nuts, lately. Is housecleaning a distraction? Is accompanying my husband to his high school reunion? Maybe. Maybe not. Planning a tea for one of my best friends? Making a birthday card for another? What about the dog? He is certainly distracting, but should we get rid of him? (No way! He is an amazing, rich, continual source of blessing.) Is writing in my journal a distraction? It does take time, yet often it really seems to clear my head and siphon off the emotions that might be hindering me from proceeding. Many times it helps me to see the distortions in my thinking and reminds me of what I should be thinking.
Plus, with writing sometimes after a bit of concerted effort you just need to break away and do something else. Sometimes you need to moodle. Or play… how do you separate the distractions from the things God is sending to inform, refresh or challenge? How can you confess something if you don’t really believe it’s a sin?
After chasing my tail for far too long, I decided to put the deciding which is distraction and which is not into God’s hands and leave it alone. Then I received the above email and after reading it I had a momentary second thoughts, followed by “Oh no, not back to square one again!”
But no, I don’t think so. Because the thought that came to me then was, “Well, you know for sure that guilt and frustration and resentment and anxiety and flusterment are all distraction. So why not just concentrate on dealing with those (rebound and concentrate on God) and leave the other stuff with Him?” Because really, He is able to make His will clear to me, despite my incessant lack of confidence in my ability to perceive. (Which, for a writer, is really an insult to His ability to communicate, since of all people I know that in communicating you have to make sure you eliminate all the potential side paths your words might stimulate a reader to take. Do I really think He can’t do that?)
And now look at this… I’ve just written a blog post, when I was in the middle of getting noting upcoming activities on our family calendar, came in to find the email regarding the aforementioned reunion to confirm the date and found my friend’s comment on yesterday’s post which in turn stimulated this. So… was that a distraction? I don’t know. It no longer matters. I’m just going to go forward and wait for God to make it clear.
[Addendum: I wrote this on Monday, but by Monday evening there was so much going on, by the time I came in here to put it into WordPress, I knew I was too tired to do anything that made sense. Then today, I suddenly had to spend the afternoon on unexpected errands and medical issues, yet because I’d already more or less written the above, now I do have energy to put it in and smooth it out. So the timing’s been pretty cool.]