"I count myself one of the number of those who write as they learn and learn as they write." ~St. Augustine

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Bread thoughts distract

Rushing in like the quick rising tide come the thoughts that distract...

...what should I make for dinner, oops, I forgot to pull the chicken out to thaw? Or, I wonder if those new pair of jeans I just ordered will fit?... Or I think the I just heard the washer finish, time to hang the laundry... or ... "better yet" I just can't seem to loose any weight... I really need to start watching what I eat... or.... I wonder what *she* meant when she said that?

All these "earthy" thoughts and so many more come rushing in... unexpected and yet un-deflected. They each rush in, take a seat and then stay awhile in my mind as I muse and ponder them during my "time with the Lord".

I am so bound to this earth. Wean me, Lord, from this earth... I prayed a few months back.

And yet, I remain so attached, so engulfed, so amused, and so drawn-in to the things of this earth.

On one level, I must. I live here. I cook. I clean. I eat. I sin. I interact with other humans all day long. And, I pound the pavement of this earthy-place day-in and day-out.

But attached? Must I be. Engulfed by? Must it be this way? Must my mind be taken away from prayer, from worship, and from contemplation by the thought of a pair of jeans. ... Must it be this way?!

The Spirit of God brought me to a passage in His Word today. Again, nothing new. But today I believe it was a fresh word from His heart to mine. As I struggled through the distracting thoughts of today... I remembered Jesus' words I had read last week. In speaking to His disciples in Jesus says, "Why are you talking about having no bread? Do you still not see or understand? Are your hearts hardened?... and don't you remember?" (Mark 8)

The disciples are in the boat with Jesus... ("their quiet time!" if you will). And, He attempts to teach them a heart-lesson, an important spiritual truth, "Be careful. Watch out for the yeast of the Pharisees" (v. 15)

Immediately upon hearing His words, their minds go to the physical, the seen, the earth. ..."It is because we have no bread", they think... they worry, they wonder. Like Jesus is really that worried that they forgot the bread!! Or, like Jesus is really that worried about the few pounds I have put on, the chicken thawing, or the jeans that are in the mail. Why? Jesus asks them. Why? ...are you talking about bread!?

Why? Why, Stephanie, are you worrying about dinner or thinking about laundry. The laundry will be with you always but we have this moment together!! The jeans will fray and rot. Any food will do to fill your bellies! Why? ...Stephanie, why sweet one, are you still talking about bread?!

They missed the moment with Jesus on the boat. How many moments do I miss with Jesus? They missed what He was trying to teach them. Oh, my sweet Jesus, I don't want to miss your teaching moments.

I know my Father cares for all aspects of my life. I know He is thrilled when I talk to Him throughout my day about dinner dishes, laundry, and the flowers blooming in my yard. I believe this is key to my relationship with Him. BUT, there are times to sit and listen. Stop and focus. There are times to be quiet. "on your bed at night search your heart and be silent" (Psalm 4)

Silence those wandering thoughts, Stephanie, and don't miss what I want to show you here and now. Don't miss your time in the boat with me. Fix your eyes not on what is seen, but what is unseen. Stop for a minute and look at what is eternal, not the temporary (2 Corin. 4:18). Don't you understand? Jesus says to my heart today. Don't you remember?

Spirit of God, when those distracting thoughts, those earthy things, come rushing in... Oh Father, teach me to stop and listen. I don't want to talk about bread anymore!! I want to remember you feed the five thousand!! Turn the tide of thoughts and guard me from the flood. Teach me to focus and the hear You. Remind me of Truth and help me to understand! I don't want to miss those sweet, stolen moments with You in the boat.
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