Life Lesson #4: Declutter the Distractions

7/16/2010 Estreitta 0 Comments

Life Lesson #4: Declutter the Distractions

Merriam-Webster dictionary defines distract as: "to stir up or confuse with conflicting emotions or motives" or another definition of distraction "an obstacle to attention"

Several years ago the Lord taught me the lesson of Decluttering the Distractions in my life. It was a difficult process but when I began to implement this into my life I saw breakthrough in many areas of my life.

Life Distractions:

Most of us can get distracted by even the simplest things, but if it draws our attention for too long we might get sucked into this maze of "confusion and conflicting emotions" that only with God's help can we get back to where He wanted us. If the enemy uses distraction to get us focused on anything else but God.

There are things and/or people in all of our lives that hinder or distract us. These distractions are most often time stealers, relationship destroyers and drain and suck the life out of us. They take our time and focus off of things that are truly important like our family and our relationship with God.

Dating Distractions:

For me, my biggest distractions were my dating relationships and some friendships. 

When I was single college student, it was so ironic how when I made a commitment to myself and the Lord that I would only pursue Him and stay away from men, dating, and pursuing any relationship.  And you know every time all the nice good looking Christian guys would all come out of the wood works all at the same time and want to  date me. 

Now you have to understand that I didn't really date anyone till I got to college.  I had only pecked kissed a boy once when I was 9, then got so sick of my stomach that I "broke" up with him the next day.  Sure, I had crushes on boys, but none of them ever "liked" me back or at least I never knew they did.

So then from never really getting attention from guys calling me frequently to  getting asked out to go out with them to the movies, concerts and bible studies, I had no clue what I was getting myself into. 

Looking back not all of it was bad, but then there were parts of it that took me many tears and years, (until I met Erik, PTL)  to get healed from everything I experienced.  Some of these relationships started out seemingly good and then slowly they began to be a distraction.

It seemed every time I got out of a dating relationship, I tried to figure out , "How did I get so far away from you God?" I'd try evaluate the choices and recall all that had transpired.  After a while (yeah unfortunately it took me a while) I began to realize that my relationships even though they were with a Godly Christian guy, I needed to keep Jesus as the Center!  When the focus and center of my attention was only the guy I was dating the less I spent time with the Lord.  When I realized that I had to make a choice in the path I was going to take in my dating relationships:  The guy I was going to date needed to be a man that would Honor me in every way possible and that he desired to honor God with the choices he made in his life.  I am Glad I made that commitment because that is when God brought Erik into my life.

Friendship Distractions:

The declutter in my friendships was I came to the realization that True friends are those who were honest, built you up, edify you, encourage you and pray for you.  And It is extremely important that your friendships are healthy and they are a reciprocal relationship.  There were people in my life at the time that talked about me behind my back, that would ask me to do things or go places i wasn't comfortable with, nor did they want me to succeed in my life.  It was a hard choice for me to let go of these friends, because I felt like I had invested so much time and energy in developing these friendships it was hard to walk away.

Technological Distractions

I can think of a laundry list of things that maybe seem so minor to some, but I have seen these things destroy marriages and cause division in families. 

One example, a friend's spouse got sucked into playing one of these virtual games, similar to Secondlife, but i can remember the name I think it was called War Craft or something...  the spouse at first would spend an hour or so on the computer playing this game.  Then it would eventually lead to  five hours and then onto all night and day on this program.  This person had gotten so involved in this game that it was causing marital issues. 

The spouse then didn't want to leave the house in case something happened in their game.  This game also interfered with their job and in the end the couple ended up getting a divorce after only a few years of marriage.  My friend was devastated.  I think for a long time he didn't even own a computer because of the loss he experience and looking at a computer just caused so much pain.  His ex-wife got so consumed into this game that it ended something that was intended for greatness.  Now in itself the computer nor game wasn't bad.  But the focus and time she spent playing the game rather than spending it with her new husband was no a good use of her time.

I also notice sometimes when Erik and I are out doing errands or going out to eat, that many times we see couples where they are both on the phone or texting the entire time they are eating and don't even interact with each other.   I think technology can be a great resource, but if we are so consumed by this technology that you don't even interact with your kids or spouse like you used to then something has gotta change.

Thought Distractions:

This one was the biggest distraction in my life that took me forever to learn.  I used to worry all the time.  I would worry about my family, my friends, money, bills, etc.  My Sophomore year at college I was diagnosed with GERDS, every morning I would wake up with an upset stomach.  I was so full of anxiety that it was causing me to become physically ill.  It was a horrible experience.  During that timeI bought this book by Barbara Johnson, that showed me no matter how bad it could or would get I needed to Trust that God had it all under control.  If you haven't read this book and you struggle with worry I highly recommend this book!

Once I got set free from Worrying and through prayer, I was healed of Gerds and haven't had a recurrence in almost 10 years.

The verse that I meditated on frequently during that time was:

Philippians 4:6-7 (The Message)

Don't fret or worry. Instead of worrying, pray. Let petitions and praises shape your worries into prayers, letting God know your concerns. Before you know it, a sense of God's wholeness, everything coming together for good, will come and settle you down. It's wonderful what happens when Christ displaces worry at the center of your life.

I believe that worrying can be the most difficult distraction to overcome, but wit God's help and allowing Him to change your way of thinking - a paradigm shift - You will be SET FREE!

Don't allow distractions, whatever they are to hold you back from fulfilling your purpose and calling.  The enemy wants to do whatever he can to get your focus on others, things and even yourself because it pulls your attention away from what really matters... Your Drawing Closer to Lord and Trusting Him with All Things!