I have struggled for year to find the ability to stop. I am not totally sure if stopping is easy for others but I can not describe how often I am texting, emailing, mixing projects, and doing favors when I am supposed to be stopping. A few weeks ago I noticed that in the midst of the madness and the business of life I was fighting for clarity and for the thought circus to come to a halt just long enough for me to figure out what I was doing standing in the laundry room… Has that ever happen to you. You know you are working on too much when you ask yourself, “Why did I come in here again… what am I doing right now anyway…”
In our church we often hear the terms looking for God, beginning in God, growing in God, and God centered, which originated from our "Location" series in previous years. This passage was based out of Mark, where Jesus begins to teach on the different ways in which the word of God encounters humanity. The part that always grabbed my attention is verse 18 and 19.
Still others, like seed sown among thorns, hear the word;but the worries of this life, the deceitfulness of wealth and the desires for other things come in and choke the word, making it unfruitful. (NIV)
This type of soil represents the person who is growing in God, and the main way in which they struggle to grow and continue to move forward is that distractions compete for their attention and affection. This is a very real battle that millions of individuals find carving a never ending plateau into their spiritual growth and progress in life. The three areas are described as the worries of this life, the deceitfulness of wealth, and the desire for other things. Have you ever found yourself in a struggle over something you never asked for, don’t want, and you can’t figure out how you ended up off course. Those three distractions are probably at work in your mind and affections.
The most powerful way to counteract worry is to stop, recognize the feeling, expose its attempt to hijack your emotions, and reset with an affirming scripture. I recommend the complementing gospel Matthew 6:25-34. Similarly, when you feel yourself getting caught up with the romance and affair of seeking wealth first and above all, stop, recognize the attempt to hijack your worship, and reset with a scripture. Mt 6:33… same location… and when you notice the desire for other things pulling you away from the things that truly matter in life, and these things will often play upon our natural incessant appetite for MORE. Recognize, expose and reset. (2 Pet 1:3)
I you have gone way past the point of noticing little things, which I believe is common to all people, then it is possible that you are not pausing in your day to BE with God. Those three areas will try to make you SO busy that you don’t have the time nor patience in your mindset to pause and allow God’s abundance of love peace joy provision and fullness to wash over you and through you. You need to stop, recognize what’s happening to you, and reset. And if you don’t believe me, listen to this Mr. Rogers quote from “The World According to Mister Rogers” p.129
“I wrote in a song that in the long, long trip of growing, there are stops along the way. It’s important to know when we need to stop, reflect, and receive. In our competitive world, that might be called a waste of time. I’ve learned that those times can be the preamble to periods of enormous growth. Recently, i declared a day to be alone with myself. I took a long drive and played a tape. When I got to the mountains, I read and prayed and listened and slept. In fact, I can’t remember having a calmer sleep in a long, long time. The next day I went back to work and did more that I usually get done in three day(Fred Rogers, 2003, p.129) .
Stop. Recognize the feeling. Reset.