Double-Minded Distractedness

Tuesday, November 02, 2010  ::  

After a year in Acts, Chad started teaching through the book of James. I'm sad to see Acts go because I learned so much through the year long study. Someday I will try and put some thoughts together on what God showed me. However, James is my one of my favorite books. The straight-forwardness of James' writing speaks the language of my heart. It's going to be a really good 12 weeks. (Chad says 12, but my guess is it will take at least 16 weeks, but what do I know. I'm only his wife.) :)

This Sunday Chad talked about our need for consistency as we follow Jesus, that we can often be double-minded or double-souled as we make our way through life. I was so convicted as he was speaking. My distractions so often come in the form of ministry to people in need. I'm so busy pouring out, or cleaning up, or fixing things that I don't fix my eyes on Jesus where I belong. My desire to ask God for wisdom as I follow him and believe and not doubt was bolstered on Sunday night. I want to know him so much. I want him to know that I am passionate for Him not just passionate to serve him.

A friend of Chad's sent him some encouraging feedback about his message. (He likes to hear what people are learning, just in case you were wondering.) He attached a great example of distractedness. As I read it, I laughed, teared up a little, and felt embarrassed about how it described my brain. I'm going to share it with you. I would love to hear if/how any of you can relate to the described day and what your plans are to remedy the problem. I'm still working on my plans, but I'm hoping to steal some of your good ideas!

Recently, I was Diagnosed with AAADD - Age Activated Attention Deficit Disorder. This is how it manifests:

I decide to water my garden. As I turn on the hose in the driveway, I look over at my car and decide my car needs washing.

As I start toward the garage, I notice that there is mail on the porch table that I brought up from the mail box earlier.

I decide to go through the mail before I wash the car. I lay my car keys down on the table, put the junk mail in the garbage can under the table, and notice that the can is full.

So, I decide to put the bills back on the table and take out the garbage first.

But then I think, since I'm going to be near the mailbox when I take out the garbage anyway, I may as well pay the bills first.

I take my check book off the table, and see that there is only 1 check left. My extra checks are in my desk in the study, so I go inside the house to my desk where I find the can of Coke that I had been drinking.

I'm going to look for my checks, but first I need to push the Coke aside so that I don't accidentally knock it over. I see that the Coke is getting warm, and I decide I should put it in the refrigerator to keep it cold.

As I head toward the kitchen with the Coke, a vase of flowers on the counter catches my eye--they need to be watered.

I set the Coke down on the counter, and I discover my reading glasses that I've been searching for all morning.

I decide I better put them back on my desk, but first I'm going to water the flowers.

I set the glasses back down on the counter, fill a container with water and suddenly I spot the TV remote. Someone left it on the kitchen table.

I realize that tonight when we go to watch TV, I will be looking for the remote, but I won't remember that it's on the kitchen table, so I decide to put it back in the den where it belongs, but first I'll water the flowers.

I pour some water in the flowers, but quite a bit of it spills on the floor.

So, I set the remote back down on the table, get some towels and wipe up the spill.

Then, I head down the hall trying to remember what I was planning to do.

At the end of the day:

1) The car isn't washed
2) The bills aren't paid
3) There is a warm can of Coke sitting on the counter
4) The flowers don't have enough water,
5) There is still only 1 check in my check book,
6) I can't find the remote,
7) I can't find my glasses,
8) And I don't remember what I did with the car keys.

Then, when I try to figure out why nothing got done today, I'm really baffled because I know I was busy all day long, and I'm really tired.

I realize this is a serious problem, and I'll try to get some help for it, but first I'll check my e-mail.

Yikes! Please share your thoughts and solutions! Let's help each other strive towards wise consistency.

5 important comments so far. What are your thoughts?

Unknown said...

Hahaha...Have you ever read "If You Give a Mouse a Cookie"? That's one of our favorite books around here, but I am reminded of it by this email.
If I come up with plans, I'll let you know. :-)

Alisa said...

Art classes are 3 hours long because it takes at least an hour of doing something before you really start to do something. The kind of doing something where your whole body, mind, and environment are engaged. Even if it does make more sense to take the garbage out and put the bills in the mailbox at the same time, you aren't doing either with your whole self, and so nothing ends up getting done. Be present.


Anonymous said...

This is interesting because I was just talking about this with a friend. And we decided that in order to become less distracted we need to reevaluate our lives. It means taking out the comb and combing through our priorities to see where they lie. Once this is done then we can begin to see where we get distracted and how to fix the issues by allowing God to help reshape our priorities.

Anonymous said...

Haha it is sad but funny, I do the same thing all the time. In fact, I was just listening to Chuck Swindoll teach about not letting the urgent stop you from doing the important.

I've thought before that if I was back in school, I would be labeled ADD.

Let us know if you come up with a good solution!

Michele (fellow Siesta - followed your link from LPM blog)

Emily said...

Angel, these are much of the same things I've been processing since Sunday. Why don't I ask for wisdom more often? And how do I become more consistent and less distracted in pursuing Jesus and his wisdom? And I think my distractedness comes more in the way of mental distractedness. I sit down to pray and the next thing I know I'm mentally planning my grocery list. And I don't even know when I stopped praying!

My plan is to work on my consistency in quiet times, prayer, reading. And being conscious of my distractedness is helping me be aware of it and praying through becoming single-minded. I do not want to be a wave tossed in the wind, I want to be standing on a firm foundation!

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