Focus for the distracted mind

Many things

In any given moment, many things are vying for our attention. Many thoughts are zooming through our minds.

Constantly changing to do lists.

Replays of what I could have done better earlier.

Inside my introverted head there’s incessant mental chatter.

Ideas. Concerns. Expectations.

Worries.Tension. Stresses.

In our spare time, scrolling down our screens bombards us with fresh information. We are our own biggest distractions!

‘Focus is the superpower in the distraction age.'(Michael Hyatt)

‘Focus is not something we find- but something we create’
(Jeff Goins)

‘Here’s another paradox for you: the faster and busier things get, the more we need to build thinking time into our schedule. And the noisier things get, the more we need to build quiet reflection spaces in which we can truly focus’
(Greg McKeown)

So how can we untangle our brain & find focus?

The next thing

In the middle of many things,
‘Just do the next right thing’
(Elizabeth Elliot)

Emily P Freeman created a podcast then a book called ‘The Next Right Thing‘ Emily helps create space for our soul to breathe so we can live life with God at a gentle pace and discern our next right thing in love.

We can focus on where we are at & the next step we need to take.

‘Give your entire attention to what God is doing right now, and don’t get worked up about what may or may not happen tomorrow. God will help you deal with whatever hard things come up when the time comes.’
‭‭(Matthew‬ ‭6:34‬ ‭MSG‬‬)

‘You’ve just got to do the next hard and holy thing even when nothing feels like it’s changing anything.’
(Ann Voskamp)

Just one thing

The story of Mary & Martha is well known & features in many bright & beautiful children’s’ Bible story books.

Martha opened her home to Jesus & his disciples & invited them into warm hospitality.

In the middle of Martha’s busyness, Mary sat listening to Jesus.

‘But Martha was distracted by all the preparations that had to be made’ (Luke 10:40)

The word for distracted in Greek is periespato which literally means to drag around (too many thoughts)

‘Martha, Martha” the Lord answered, “you are worried & upset about many things,but only one thing is needed. Mary has chosen what is better & it will not be taken away from her”
(John 10:42)

We too can chose the better thing. We can leave good things aside for the better thing.

‘Steep your life in God-reality, God-initiative, God-provisions. Don’t worry about missing out. You’ll find all your everyday human concerns will be met.’
‭‭(Matthew‬ ‭6:30-33‬ ‭MSG‬‬)

One thing is needed.

‘But the Lord said to her, “My dear Martha, you are worried and upset over all these details! There is only one thing worth being concerned about. Mary has discovered it, and it will not be taken away from her.”’
(Luke 10:41-42 NLT)

One thing matters.

Shut out the noise.

Listen to His voice.

For, ‘We can set our hearts at rest in His presence’
(I John 3:19 NIV)

Just like Mary {& Martha} His presence is the one thing we truly need. We can bring our distractions to Jesus & leave them with Him rather than dragging them around.

‘Cast your burden on the Lord, and he will sustain you’
(Psalms‬ ‭55:22‬ ‭ESV‬‬)

‘I’m asking GOD for one thing,
only one thing:
To live with him in his house my whole life long.
I’ll contemplate his beauty;
I’ll study at his feet.
That’s the only quiet, secure place in a noisy world,
The perfect getaway,
far from the buzz of traffic.’
‭‭(Psalm‬ ‭27:4-5‬ ‭MSG‬‬)

That’s focus for our distracted minds!


Ruth x

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