What Distracts You?
What distracts you? Lately, I’ve asked myself that question often. I began to think about the distractions in my life and what tends to divert or even trap me spiritually? I thought some of you might be able to relate and I decided it was a great topic to blog about. So, the next few weeks I will be sharing my own journey as God illuminates for me the things that tend to distract me in my walk with Him. I hope some of you will be able to apply the truths I am sharing.
I was 12 years old and living in Alaska. Dad had his Cessna 180 airplane on floats and we would often fly to some remote lake or river, land on the water and fish for salmon. Yes, my life as a youngster was very different than most kids. One day in particular we landed on one of Alaska’s big swift running rivers. We landed where the river made a big, gentle bend. As we rounded the bend, there in the middle of the river was another airplane, another airplane that had a problem. It had crashed upside down in the river. It was an amazing site. The plane had landed, but the pilot could not see that just under the surface of the water was an enormous sand bar. So he had landed in about 6 inches of water. When the floats on the plane hit that sand, the momentum caused the plane to flip over right there in the middle of the river. It was the unseen obstacle that got him. There were no injuries, other than the pilot’s pride, and several of the passengers probably needed to change some clothing.
Those things in our life that lie just beneath the surface can get us. For me, the fear of failure can act just like that sandbar. At times, it almost seems to have a life of its own. That fear waits for the right time to reach out and grab me, tossing me spiritually end over end. It can cripple me as it keeps me from trusting God or causing me to hesitate when I know God has instructed me to step forward.
Another sandbar that lies below the water for me is abandonment. I will stall out spiritually, wondering if God has left me or anticipating that others might leave me as well. It can be costly if I choose not to press through it or navigate around it.
So how do we navigate those distractions that might be hidden under the waterline? I think we must do a couple things:
- Know they are there. I can look back and see patterns in my life and I can anticipate when those hidden sand bars might reach out and flip me over. I think its best to acknowledge them and confess them.
- Share with others. I have to tell others what I battle with. They have vantage points in my life to see what I don’t. That is why relationships are so vital to our spiritual health.
- Submit them to God. I have to confess my struggles to God daily and remember that the Gospel is relevant for me everyday. I need God’s grace and mercy to keep me moving forward spiritually. I submit those distractions to Him.
So, what distracts you? Do you have sandbars in your life that sit just below the water line waiting for you to pass over and then grab you, tossing you end over end spiritually? I challenge you to identify them, tell a close Christian friend and submit that struggle to God.
Oh, and yes, Dad and I did make it to our fishing spot that day. We both caught some beautiful salmon and I will never forget seeing that huge airplane upside down in the middle of the river.