Driving along the highway some days ago, some people walking by the side of the road got my attention. Their location on the highway and the unusual movements they made got my attention as I drove up to them. I was behind the driver’s seat, speeding, so I couldn’t turn to look. I drove past. It was quite tempting to turn and look but I kept my eyes on the road ahead of me and kept driving…
At some point in your life, you might have seen a toddler heading to the store with his mum. Without a care, different things get his attention in fractions of minutes. One second he goes from walking calmly beside mummy to jumping high to catch a butterfly. The next second, without batting an eyelid, he slides to pluck a flower and just for the fun of it bends to pick a pebble. In less than five minutes, he may have completed dozens of unrelated tasks. Meanwhile, the plan as he stepped out with his mum was to simply take a straight path to the grocery store a block from their house.
Driving, I chuckled as I imagined my 7 year old behind the wheels of a car, driving. First, keeping the car on a straight path will be an impossible task. Even if she even managed to drive for a minute, she would get fascinated by all the cars speeding past her. She would probably stop smack in the middle of the road to look. I couldn’t even imagine it. 🙂
Finding purpose is one thing, following purpose and aiming to fulfill your life’s assignment is a different thing. Dealing with distractions is a completely different thing. The more we go along in life, the more we will be tempted to pause and look. While heading in a particular direction, determined about the course we should be following and the things that are priority, distractions will come. We will be tempted, so badly to look away from the path ahead of us.
Mind you, distractions aren’t always bad things. I looked the word distraction up to mean, “a thing that prevents you from concentrating on something else.” It’s not that bad is it? It just keeps you from concentrating on something you should be concentrating on.
Let’s audit your week so far, maybe your distractions were something like this:
- Napping when you should have been reading
- Lounging when you had research work to do
- Buying new clothes with money you put away for rent
- Reading trending stories on Instagram when you had work to turn in
- Exchanging chit chat with your sister while the children were in bed and you had planned to wash your hair
- Watching TV when you planned to clean the house
- Eating that bowl of food when you planned to lose 10 pounds this quarter
- Sitting, comparing yourself with someone else who stepped out in faith
- Daydreaming when you planned to record a new, much needed podcast…
These are basic and non-life threatening, but I am sure you get my point. Perform an audit on yourself. What are those things that you are so vulnerable to that often have you pausing along your path and looking to the side? Looking away from where you are headed, slowing yourself down, sometimes getting hurt in the process. A bad relationship that is just so draining? Comparing yourself with what someone else is doing? Feelings of disappointment at your progress? See them as distractions for while you are meant to be concentrating on the really important things in your life, you concentrate on them.
It’s not a very long post today. I just want to remind you to focus on the road ahead. Leave the fascinating sights, they will slow you down. You won’t arrive at your destination early. Keep your eyes ahead, so you don’t bump into someone else. Pay attention to the road ahead of you. You set out with a destination in mind, don’t pause. Keep your eyes ahead. You will arrive at your destination faster if you eliminate distractions and forge ahead.
Your attention has value. Don’t give it away. They will say it’s important but it’s not. Stay focused. Maxime Lagacé