On Saturday morning I made the 40-minute drive to pick up two of my sons from Cub Scout Residence Camp. Listening to my “Praise and Worship” list on the way and singing at the top of my lungs, I was on top of the world. Then it hit me. In a few minutes, two boys would enter my vehicle and want to tell me all about their last several days. My initial reaction to that thought was selfish disappointment. “I’ll be interrupted from listening/singing all the way home,” I thought. Just as quickly as that thought came, another took its place. I needed to offer patience and proper praise.
Patience and Proper Praise
What do I mean by patience and proper praise? I mean setting aside what I want to do, and what I think pleases God, in favor of offering Him what He really desires from me. God desires a humble and contrite heart, as Psalm 51 tells us. Convicted of my selfishness, I repented in the truest sense, turning away from my own desires and in the direction of serving my kids and their need for their father’s attention. This is pleasing to God.
One thing I find myself constantly fighting is distraction. Lest the reader think I mean the normal distractions of daily life as a spouse and parent, let me explain. When I say distraction, I mean the interior variety. What I really need is focused thought. I imagine you can relate in one way or another.
In order to be healthy, we need to take care of the spiritual, physical, mental, vocational, and recreational aspects of who we are. In my case, this summer of dreams is about revitalizing all of them. To that end, this summer has been incredibly productive and edifying. It comes with an unexpected cost, however. A renewed commitment to prayer, exercise, learning, producing content and building a platform, and balancing it all with appropriate rest and relaxation leaves me constantly… invigorated. Invigorated? Doesn’t sound like a problem, right? It’s a good problem to have, for sure, but it is a challenge! You see, I feel so good that my level of creativity is at an all-time high… and I don’t have time to accomplish everything that comes to mind. More than ever, I need focused thought, or nothing at all gets done. That part should sound familiar to just about everyone.
Focused thought is possible even amidst distraction of the interior kind. I offer the following suggestions…