Distracted Focus

We were sitting in prayer, as we do most Sundays that my grandchildren are with me, praying before the service starts.  Typically one sits on each side, and they will cuddle up, but are peaceful.  They know that if they are going to talk during that time it is to God, not Mimi or each other.  We used to have a clock in the back of the room that they would sit and watch as they knew the numbers on the clock that would mean that prayer time was over.  At times, when the clock was still there, they would get a little anxious as the numbers started getting closer to 1-0-1-5 and start to tell me when the numbers changed.  This day was not like that, they wanted to talk the entire time and they were restless.  They were fussing at each other.  It was very distracting to me.

As we gathered to pray in a circle, my granddaughter continued to fidget with my watch, to pull on my clothes, and try to talk with my grandson.  He looked up at me at one point, I gave him “the look”; he then stood quietly and still, holding my hand and leaning in to me.

I thought about how their actions were a reflection of how I am with God at times.  He longs for me to be intimate with Him.  For me to press in to His presence, to sit at His feet, to find peace and rest in Him as I linger in communication with Him.   Just like I love those times with my grandchildren, He loves me to do that too.  He does not pull away if He gives me “the look” or has to correct me.  He enjoys my longing to be with Him, for however long that lasts.  He is, I am sure, hopeful that I will long for increased time with Him; yet, He never makes me feel guilt or shame when I cut it short.

distractionAnd yet, there are times I want to be doing anything or be anywhere else besides in communion with Him.  Regardless of how I know it feels to be in His presence, I am restless and my mind is anywhere but with Him.  I allow outside things to keep me from entering into His presence.  I am concerned about the time.  I am focused on external conditions like the temperature in the room or the weather outside.  Or I am meditating on the circumstances that I have faced throughout the day or week.

I allowed my granddaughter to distract me from entering into His presence fully.  Yet, I can not blame her, because it was my choice.  I have a choice on where I place my focus.  I can choose to focus on the distraction, or I can choose to focus on God.  I know that when I turn my attention solely towards Him, everything else will fade away.  Not that it disappears, but it just becomes less important in the moment.  She was not being disruptive drawing my attention, she was just being a typical 6-year-old little girl.

I could have chosen to press into God even in that moment.  His Word says draw near to Me, and I will draw near to you.  I could have chose to draw in to Him, like my grandson did to me.  My grandson’s look back told me he was ready to go get a doughnut, but he pressed in to me anyway.  God is not offended by our distraction, He just wants us to choose to press in any way.  He is okay with me letting Him know what I would rather be doing, or hearing about the things going on in my world, He just wants me to communicate with Him.  If I stay talking to Him, I will eventually get it all out so that I can give Him what He wants, my praise and worship of Him.

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