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DISCONNECT FROM DISTRACTIONS


 
 

Psalm 46:10

10 He says, “Be still, and know that I am God;

I will be exalted among the nations,

I will be exalted in the earth.”


Psalm 62:5


5 Yes, my soul, find rest in God;

my hope comes from him.


1 John 2:15-17


15 Do not love the world or anything in the world. If anyone loves the world, love for the Father is not in them. 16 For everything in the world—the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life—comes not from the Father but from the world. 17 The world and its desires pass away, but whoever does the will of God lives forever.

 
If you don't take time away from the world around you, you're going to get pulled down by the world around you.

Erwin McManus, lead pastor of Mosaic, a megachurch based in Los Angeles

 

DISCONNECT FROM DISTRACTIONS

 

If you’ve ever had to call an IT department or help desk representative for help with a computer or electronic device, chances are they started the conversation with one question: “Did you unplug it, count to 10, and plug it back in?” Often, that simple step is all it takes to get your device back on track and working correctly.


That same process works for us too. Sometimes it is necessary to unplug yourself from our hyper-connected world of email, texts, and social media accounts to reset ourselves and get our life back on track.


One of the definitions of rest is to be free from anxiety or disturbance. In this time in our lives, with all that is, and has been occurring in our City, Country and World, we can easily find things that would disturb our rest as well as cause anxiety. They may be enjoyable in the moment and feel like they refresh us, but in the end, we are depleted from true rest.

There are numerous people these days who are talking about the different ways to disconnect in our ultra-connected world. There are books, articles, podcasts, and messages giving us three steps to not be overwhelmed by things that rob our attention. But not everyone is distracted by the same things. What distracts one person is not a struggle for the next.


For us to break away from the distractions in our lives, we must consider a couple of things.

First, we have to know what distracts us. Those things that tear us away from the important because they either feel urgent or they are just fun to indulge in.


Secondly, we have to be willing to lay down our agendas so that the most important people in our lives don’t feel like distractions.


Craig Nelson Vice President, Eurofins BioDiagnostics, writes about what he does to find rest, in an article called “Disconnecting in a connected World.”


“I work in an office with laptop computers and electronic notepads. We have a digital phone system, smartphones, and a wall-mounted big screen TV in our conference room that allows us to video conference with clients all over the world. These technological tools are wonderful; they help us to do our jobs more efficiently and effectively. The interesting thing is that we hardly considered the technology required for that interaction, it is so routine for us.
Our common culture pushes the message that it is important to always be connected. I rarely go anywhere without my iPhone. When I travel, I almost always bring my laptop. While I value the ability to respond quickly to a need or be informed of important events, sometimes I feel that it is important to just disconnect from the electronic world.
I really enjoy going to remote areas away from all the trappings of modern society. Since I was a kid, I have traveled up to the Boundary Waters Canoe Area. This is a wilderness area in northern Minnesota on the border with Canada. Paddling a canoe on a northern lake, kayaking on a remote river, or strapping on a backpack and hiking a wilderness trail, these are all activities that I enjoy. They allow me to get away for a time from the larger world.
When I get away on my trips, I always go with someoneelse or a group of people. Frequently, my wife will join me, sometimes with our adult children. I have also taken other family members and friends both old and new on remote wilderness adventures. So, while I have disconnected from the wider world, I have been able to reconnect with people who I value and enjoy spending time with. It is meaningful to interact with others without the distraction of having to constantly check our cell phones or update social media.
My wilderness getaways help me refocus on people that I care about. It helps me rebalance and consider what is important in my life. It reinforces the importance of self-reliance; we don’t need as much stuff as we think we do. And most importantly, it helps me relax.

Whatever that thing is that steals peace and rest from us, we must set some limits on it. Likely after reading that sentence, we all know exactly what it is. Instead of letting distractions keep us from rest and the most important people in our lives, maybe we…


...choose to focus on the good instead of being distracted by the worries of the world.

...set a specific ringtone for our family members and let the rest go to voicemail.

...choose not to watch TV until the weekend.

...set aside our plans for the future so that we can live in the present.

...set time limits on certain websites, apps or video games.


If we find ourselves in a continual place of anxiety and feeling disturbed, we must decrease or even eliminate such things that cause us to feel that way. It will not be easy. Anything worth having takes work and sacrifice. Let us not go another day where we allow the distractions of this world to keep us from God’s best rest for us.

 

PRAYER



Lord God, I pray that by your mercy, you will grant me the wisdom to identify distraction when I come across one. Even if it looked like what I needed to survive at that time, I pray that you will give me the wisdom to identify it as a distraction and treat it as such in the name of Jesus. Amen.

 

TAKE AWAY REFLECTIONS


What is the biggest thing that distracts you from truly resting?


What steps do you need to take today to remove or limit these distractions in your life?


Write down any revelation that God speaks to you through today’s Bible reading or devotional.

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