Monday, December 15, 2008

Distraction

You don’t realize how much of your life is swallowed by the death of distraction, until you are in a place without any! I lay awake at night pondering the way I live my life, the things I feel like God is teaching me, the junk in my heart that needs to be reckoned with and the ways of Africa. You can’t help but lay awake thinking when you are transported to another land, culture, people, food, climate, language, and lifestyle.
In all my journeys to Africa, I am usually always in awe at how much I feel like I am much more in touch with the Lord here. I mean it’s not like the Lord isn’t at work all around me in Fort Collins, at the grocery store, at the park, you name it. He is! He is at work all around us, 24/7 but are we aware? Am I aware? Are we listening? Am I listening? Are we conversing with our great God, our amazing creator, friend, and kind Father? I feel the Lord more intensely here because there is nothing to distract me. I don’t think God is anymore alive here in Africa than He is in the states, I just think our need of Him and our acknowledgement of Him is minimal. I call my girlfriends, I blog, I race around town doing errands, I make play dates, I hang out on the Internet and dive into hours of photo viewing, chatting, and joining worthy causes. And yes, many of these activities are life giving and in some of these Internet places there are journal entries, confessions, and ponderings that have taken my breath away and have dropped me right into the lap of God. But…I found that my days and weeks disappeared right before my eyes.
It saddens my heart to think of how much I cheat my Savior. It’s as if He takes last place on my list of things “to do”, when all He really wants, is to do these things with me. I don’t know how or when I started to live this way. When did I start condensing God into a time slot? As if the only time I can hear Him or see Him or understand His heart is in “quiet time”. I do admit that I personally, am in need of a time set aside just for God, and I believe it is where we can be at one with Him, but if that time is erased or overlooked, then what? I have heard it all before, probably a gazillion times, that we should always be “open” to the Lord each and every day for His direction, leading and surprises. We should arise and greet the day with the words, “What are you doing today Lord?” But have I? Did I? At times, yes, I would be on a roll and wake up feeling good, ask the Lord to keep me open to Him and pray for a divine moment with someone. Then life takes over, the kids drive me nuts, too much to do and too little time, and then BAM!! Back to boxing God into my “quiet time” if I even find time for this. Now it’s not like Arua, Uganda is so different from the States. It’s also a little honeycomb, with worker bees coming and going, buzzing with activity and movement; but, somehow, there is little to distract one with. I am not sure what it is, but I love it! I love that each day moves slowly enough for me to communicate with my creator as we walk the dirt roads together. Even when our day is “full” or “busy” which could mean one trip to town, there is still a quietness in my soul that leaves room for His whispers, and it’s lovely. Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength. These commandments that I give you today are to be upon your hearts. Impress them on your children. Talk about them when you sit at home and when you walk along the road, when you lie down and when you get up. Duet. 6:4-7

2 comments:

jena said...

Beautifully written and so true. When we were in Uganda I felt this daily NEED to hear God, draw near to Him and wait upon Him. Now that I am back home I still need to hear from Him, to draw near to Him and wait upon Him. But I think the difference is... in Uganda, it wasn't an option. It was survival and utter dependence on Him. It's hard to describe. And I am probably not doing a very good job! Maybe you understand?

Anxious to hear about the last couple weeks. I need to call you!
Jena

heidi said...

It is good to hear your thoughts on life and God. I sure miss our chats. And I agree with you....