Have you ever caught yourself procrastinating? I have. In fact, I have found that things get worse, especially when life gets tough or my schedule is hectic.
All I want to do is escape into something to convince myself that I’m doing fine. I joke a lot that playing slightly violent video games helps me balance out everything I do during the day – as most of the time I am working with people. But the true fact is, I don’t need to balance anything. Playing games for me actually became a way to feel like everything was normal.
So what has this got to do with faith? Nothing. But everything as well. The more I live out life – with all my faults, quirks, victories and challenges – the more I have come to realise that distraction has become a silent killer when it comes to my faith. In many ways I have turned to entertainment, relationships, position, and even daydreams to run away from the things God has given me to address in my life. Recently, I deleted every series and movie that I had acquired illegally – knowing that I was not only stealing from movie houses, but that the movies were stealing me from a true revelation of God!
You might think this is drastic, but the fact is I believe people are unaware of how desperate they are – malnourished in their spirits but obese with the “fine” things the world has to offer. Here are a few things I have learnt about distraction:
Distraction is misdirected desperation
I believe that we were all created with a built in dependency on God. The problem is, there are things that sometimes seem better to us than trusting God. Having a relationship with God means facing your fears. It means changing the way you speak, the thoughts you allow yourself to entertain and the way you will live. To be honest, part of me still freaks out knowing that God knows everything about me and more about where I am than I do.
I would much rather watch endless marathons of Friends and The Lord of the Rings extended versions. My soul would much rather focus on building a virtual empire with people who I will never meet or speak to half-way around the world. Real life is way more scary. Way more real. Way more intimidating and exposing. But those feelings are all there to drive us towards God to find strength and courage in Him. We are always going to be desperate for the love and direction of our Maker.
It is not about being filled, but about being fed
When we turn to distractions – like social media, partying, addictions, relationships, or position – we are looking for things only God can give us. Yes, we can fill our time and get some “reward” from the things mentioned above, but are we truly nourished from what we have been doing? Or are we consuming “candy floss” and expecting to live like professional athletes when it comes to our souls?
Distraction has no direction
Living outside of our own reality can seem like progress. I know there was a time where I honestly felt stuck, with nowhere to turn to. In that moment when I really needed to find God and work on issues in my life, I turned to social media to live vicariously through people I wanted to be like instead. I also spent my days trying to please people and make my own way, as no opportunities seemed to be coming my way. I am being vulnerable for a reason – I believe that a season that lasted almost five months could have lasted days if I had said no to distraction and brought my issues to God.
I don’t know if you struggle with distraction like I do. Most of the time, I only realise what’s happening after a while. But one thing I’m certain of is that there is a God that is constantly ready to engage, encourage, and improve who we are.