The Creek Church

Oh Look, A Bird

August 17, 2017 | Emily Hammons

Isn’t distraction just the worst? It’s that feeling of “I was in the middle of a sentence and now I can’t remember what I was saying because I saw something shiny. So now I must retreat in shame and return in five minutes to finish whatever I was telling you, even though it wasn’t that important to begin with.”

I hate that feeling. I know it well, because it happens a lot. Birds do this to me all the time. They flutter or hop or fly off in panic and I notice out of the corner of my eye, and I’m done. No idea what was happening or what I was saying. My husband proposed to me in the dark, probably for that very reason. I cannot be counted on to stay focused when there are moving things, shiny things, or sometimes just good smelling things in my vicinity.

All too often I miss out on a moment with him because I’m watching the TV above his head in a restaurant, or listening to the people talking on the other end of the room, or because the roll I’m about to eat may look like the Virgin Mary.

And even worse, all too often my prayers end with, “What was I saying…? Oh well, you know all about it.” I lose my thought because my phone buzzed or my mind drifted, and I miss out on a moment with Him. I struggle to connect because I struggle to stay present.

Last Sunday during the welcome, Rocky said something that struck me. “Involvement makes a difference.” I don’t know if you caught it. It was just a passing statement on the way to an announcement I can’t remember. But it made me think.

My level of involvement makes a difference. I didn’t care much about students until I got involved and started serving with them. I didn’t care much about New Missions until my family started sponsoring a child and sending him mail and shoeboxes. And I feel like this is true of many things in my life (in your life, Reader). My involvement makes a difference in how I feel. It makes a difference in how I think about that thing. Involvement, it turns out, is actually kind of a big deal.

So here are a few ways I’m being intentional, being present, and being involved right now:

  1. I’m participating in the Daniel Fast by giving up meat and all forms of caffeine. I’m a crappy vegetarian, but it’s definitely reminding me that this month is different, and I need to refocus and adjust in light of that.
  2. I’m working off a list. A prayer list. Like the good little Baptist I am. It sounds hokey. It sounds like what you tell people when you’re uncomfortable and don’t know what to say. “I’m real sorry your colon ruptured. I’ll add you to my prayer list.” That’s terrible. That’s not what I’m doing... except it kind of is. I have a list of the things I’m passionate about — growth in UpFront, more volunteers in KidsCove, growth and more influence for The Well — and areas of personal growth, and when I sit down to pray, I work through my list. So I have something tangible to focus on. So I don’t forget anything. It’s a matter of intentionality and preparation. Coming to God, having put thought into our time together and making it count.

I don’t expect this to be a magic wand. Wave a few prayers and instantly be focused and intentional 24/7/365. But I am hoping that my involvement will increase my passion for closeness with God. And with time and intention, perhaps I’ll even overcome my ADOS (attention deficit ooooh! Shiny!!), ignore those pesky birds, and..,

Oh! And stop watching TV over people’s heads when we go to dinner.

The Well Blog

At the WELL, we desire to be a community of women who live out our potential and purpose in Christ, lead where God has placed us, and encourage others to do the same.

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