So easily distracted

Matthew 6:33–But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well.

Isaiah 26:3–You will keep him in perfect peace,
Whose mind is stayed on You,
Because he trusts in You.

I think I have mentioned before how lazy I am, but I’ve been focusing a lot lately on my ministry at home (being a woman of virtue is hard work) and that laziness just keeps raising its ugly head.  It isn’t just laziness, either, that keeps me from doing what I need to do, it’s distraction (I know that the two are related).  For instance, in the middle of writing this post I got distracted by my RSS feed and Facebook, then I decided to go outside and pull some weeds in the front yard (in my defense, I can’t do this while my kids are around because my son heads straight for the street and my daughter for the concrete stairs whenever I’m not looking; so, when my hubby decided to take them to the park, I chose to pull weeds instead of finishing this post), ate dinner, washed dishes, got the baby in her jammies (while hubby dressed the boy after their bath), played a card game with the boy, then, finally, came back to this.  Most of those things weren’t so bad to get distracted by, but usually I don’t need anything particularly interesting to distract me.  Sometimes it just takes whatever PBS kids show my son happens to be watching.

And so, this begs the question: what is the best way to spend my time?  Ideally, I would spend all of my time doing things that are not only “not bad,” but things that are actually beneficial: play with my kids, read, pray, clean house, exercise, take my kids to the park, make something (anything), organize something, or any number of other things.  But instead, I sit and watch TV (again, kids shows), or I get online and dink around on Facebook or read blogs or articles, or I do something else that is a complete waste of time.  It’s summer, I should go outside, but I only sometimes do.

Over the last several years I have purged my life of many forms of entertainment that were what I now consider harmful.  Books, movies, and music that had something in them that I didn’t want around me any more (language, sex, violence, sometimes just plain “badness”).  Garbage in, garbage out, right?  Or, as the Apostle Paul puts it,

1 Corinthians 3:16-17–Do you not know that you are the temple of God and that the Spirit of God dwells in you? If anyone defiles the temple of God, God will destroy him. For the temple of God is holy, which temple you are.

That is to say, I didn’t want to defile God’s temple.

I am at a point in my life, however, when removing things that are harmful isn’t enough.  I eat pretty well, but that doesn’t mean that I stopped eating badly and then started eating things that were a wash nutritionally.  No, rather, I replaced the bad (read: processed) foods with foods that were more beneficial.  So, instead of just getting rid of the bad forms of entertainment, I need to look at the more neutral ones and probably get rid of a lot of things that aren’t beneficial.  Twice in the book of 1 Corinthians (6:12, 10:23) Paul talks about how you can do anything, but not all things are beneficial.  I mean, am I going to be one of those that Christ was talking about who would be caught up in the “cares of this world” and be unprepared when He comes; and will it be simply because I was too busy being entertained to prepare?

What is it, though, about entertainment that has me convinced that I need it so badly?  I wrote on my old blog (and moved it here) about how this is a tool of the devil, but I forget it so easily.  He takes my joy and replaces it with nothing and I just let it happen because I hardly even notice the change.  Well, I’m taking notice, Satan, of the trap that you have led me into.  You have taken the potential pleasure that I could derive from being in communion with God and replaced it with a lower form of pleasure, and sometimes no pleasure at all.

I’m not going to promise that I will give up all forms of entertainment.  I wouldn’t be able to keep that promise, nor do I think it is necessary to purge my life of all entertaining things.  I do think that I need to seek Christ first and the pleasure that I am seeking through various forms of entertainment (and often not getting) will be given to me, as well, and probably in a much more pleasurable form.  So, I’m not sure what form this is going to take, but I’m going to do some kind of TV/media/internet fast, but I’ll let you know before I do (so you won’t miss me too badly).

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1 Comment (+add yours?)

  1. annie
    Aug 10, 2011 @ 16:15:28

    Stacy, I am (have been) going through this process myself, and get distracted. Sometimes for a few minutes or hours. Other times I get distracted from my walk and mission (to constantly work to live more purely and pleasingly) for days and weeks (col. 3). I have decided that this tug of war is “IT”. The world (micro and macro) pulls me one way, and Christ calls me the other. I need the strength of God, and the Grace of the spirit to follow Christ, and even then I fall short. I think you have something with “replacing” the “bad” with the “good”. Most recently I’ve struggled with what to do about the people in my life. Friends that pull me away from my walk. I feel guilty “dumping them, like I should be an example of Christs light, except I’m not. If I’m around them for long I either get grumpy and leave (and inadvertently hurt their feelings), or just cave and join them. I dunno… such a process…

    Reply

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