“Turn my eyes from looking at worthless things; and give me life in your ways” (Psa. 119:37).
Countless times during the week I am deep in thought either reading or studying when I am jolted out of that reflection by the loud thumping coming from a car passing by. And other times it is the roar of the airboats as they make their way up and down the Peace River ALL DAY LONG. These things are distracting. I keep trying to concentrate on writing and studying, but these obnoxious sounds keep bursting through my walls and windows. My mind fights to focus.
Life is often like that. Distractions are everywhere, tugging on our arms, filling our eyes and gnawing at our ears… trying to lure our hearts down little alleyways not conducive to our journey. Image, material possessions, wealth, influence, positions of power, current issues, reputation, desires, lusts, greed, noise, busyness… all distractions. Many of these aren’t bad in and of themselves, but when we chase after them, forgetting who and whose we are, trying to attain them, they become deadly.
‘Busy’ is a HUGE modern day distraction. I believe in hard work, setting goals, dreaming big and initiating plans. But we ought not be busy for busyness’ sake! Busyness doesn’t make you important. It can make you tired and sick if you’re chasing the wrong things.
Socrates said “Beware the barrenness of a busy life…” And Dolly Parton said, “Never get so busy making a living that you forget to make a life.” By the way, I don’t think I’ve ever put those two side by side before.
Fame, money, fortune, influence. These are things that we are tempted to think are equally significant. While some people will experience these, that doesn’t make them more important than anyone else. What is truly fulfilling is following the path God has for us. Don’t get distracted by what she’s doing, or by what he said, or by what they have (or the thumping of loud music or the roar of an airboat). We need to daily put our life to the way of Christ.
“Turn my eyes from looking at worthless things; and give me life in your ways” ought to be a prayer that often flies from our lips. It is the pursuit of a life rooted in the gospel that helps us to evaluate distractions, fix our eyes on Jesus, and follow the path of life found in God’s word. This is the journey of faith. “Your word is a lamp to my feet and a light to my path” (Psa. 119:105). If we are not traveling by this light, we are walking in the dark!
Many things will cross your path. Some will enhance and invigorate your journey, others bring destruction and pain. Through it all, we must keep our eyes focused on God in Christ. Don’t get distracted, steady your mind and heart and enjoy this beautiful life you’ve been given. No matter what blessing or heartache has overwhelmed you, God will lead you through, healing and refining you step by step as he leads you home.
“Blessed are those whose way is blameless, who walk in the law of the Lord!…Oh that my ways may be steadfast in keeping your statutes!” (Psa. 119:1,5).