When We Get Distracted

A few weeks ago, I visited my doctor for a routine check-up and was quickly greeted by overly helpful employees directing me into a “new and improved” patient experience.

Rather than wait outside my doctor’s module and scroll through my phone like the average person, I was invited to engage in numerous “fun” and “interactive” experiences. An eager staff member offered me a choice of text notification or vibrating pager and encouraged me to “browse” until my doctor was ready for me.

Since I neither visit the doctor for “fun,” nor do I want to be beckoned to her office like a table at the Cheesecake Factory, I bit my tongue, rolled my eyes, and went to check my phone. Because I’m average that way.

From my quiet corner chair, I watched as patients were led to tables filled with adult coloring books, magnetic walls where they could piece together poetry, and a coffee bar offering a quick drink.

And I thought to myself, we are an occupied people.

Gone are the days of stillness, self-reflection, and simply being. We are a people who are subject to instant gratification, entertainment, and up and coming fun. I’m not judging—I’m as guilty as the next gal of fixing my attention on social media, Netflix binges, and a good cup of coffee.

History proves we are a people led astray, a wilderness wandering unsatisfied bunch prone to complaining about what’s in front of us and quickly tempted to choose every other thing over the best One.

“… a people without understanding shall come to ruin.”
Hosea 4:14b ESV

I’ve been tiptoeing through the book of Hosea in a She Reads Truth bible study. Israel is once again on the chopping block for their wayward ways and failure to worship the God who rescued them time and again. And God is no happier about it than the first Exodus.

I see the world in each page and verse—a people who have turned their back on God in exchange for worship of the popular, the instantly gratifying, the it-feels-right way of life. But I also see myself.

Distractions that interrupt worship.

Barren busyness that precedes stillness.

Self-interest that steals time with God.

I’m moved to confession, to lift apologies to the Lord for following after idols, for pursuing the wrong pattern just like the Israelites I’ve clucked my tongue at and shamed. But, I am in awe of the God who continually pursued them—who continually pursues us. 

It’s rare in this life to find one who fights powers so great
to win a people so flawed. God does.

{Tweet that.}

I fall—we all fall short—of His glory. Yesterday, today, tomorrow, and the tomorrow after that. We are an unworthy and forgetful people. And yet…God loves us DEEPLY. He loves YOU deeply!

“…even as the Lord loves the children of Israel…”
Hosea 3:1

Through pride, disobedience and sin, God watches and warns. He loves us enough to discipline and refine us through resulting consequences, because indeed they come. All the while though, He bathes us in grace, covers our penalty with His blood, and NEVER gives up on His own.

There are no excuses for what we should do and don’t. Most of us who have walked this long path of faith, who know and love the God who walks beside us, understand what we ought to do.

“Let us know; let us press on to know the Lord…”
Hosea 6:3 ESV

We press on. We lean in. We know Him more.

When We Forget Again {www.simplyforone.net} http://wp.me/p2v8DX-J4

I don’t want to live distracted, but wholly devoted to God.

{Tweet that.}

Not a perfect life, that isn’t God’s expectation, but a life that recognizes the length and breadth of the Father’s love and pushes all else aside to press into Him. That doesn’t come easy, it comes with intention. It comes because there is nothing more worthy of our wholehearted pursuit. ♥

You can also find these words linked up at my favorite spots:  Purposeful Faith (#RaRaLinkup)Holly Barrett (#testimonytuesday), Jennifer Dukes Lee (#tellhisstory)Holley Gerth (#coffeeforyourheart)Kristin Hill Taylor (#threewordwednesday) and 3dlessons4life (#thoughtprovokingthursday) .


43 thoughts on “When We Get Distracted

  1. Tiffany I haven’t had that experience yet at a doctor’s office and don’t believe I would join in either. Things are hectic enough. Loved this post.

  2. I’m with you Tiffany, God’s pursuit of me, of us, continues to amaze me. Oh how we get so easily lost in all of our own desires, whether dream size or just tiny daily distractions. Often I struggle between pursuing dreams and pursuing him and how that looks all meshed together. I always want to desire him more, yet many times I fail. I’m so thankful that in my own failure His love picks me up, restores, and builds me strong again, if I make myself available to Him. Thank you for the sweet reminder not to take our eyes off of our creator!

  3. I love the story of Hosea. I actually love both of the Hosea movies that are available on Netflix too! This story always reminds me of His unrelenting love which pursues us daily. I am guilty of getting distracted too and I have found at least a couple things that have helped, though I am not sure they are great for growing a social media following quickly, have proven to keep me focused and built deeper connections with folks. I am glad He is so patient with us! Love this post, Tiffany. I shared your first quote!

  4. Tiffany,

    I loved what you said, “History proves we are a people led astray, a wilderness wandering unsatisfied bunch prone to complaining about what’s in front of us and quickly tempted to choose every other thing over the best One”. Oh how I find myself in this spot over and over and yet, God meets me there too. He is so faithful even when we are stuck in our human ways. Have an amazing weekend!!

  5. Tiffany you capture the very heart of so many of us! And you show the mercy and grace of God to discipline and pour out His unfailing love through all the distractions. Thank you for a great reminder and leaving me with something to really think about!

  6. I’m reading a challenging book about being aware of God in all areas of my life and learning to weave prayer through everything I do. I find that distraction is my biggest problem. I get so sidetracked by things going on all around me, that I completely forget to pray about them. One of my main prayers each night and morning is for the Spirit to help me remember to pay attention through out my day. It’s amazing just how practical and basic you have to be sometimes. Thanks Tiffany!

    1. I hear you, Karen. I’m all about practical and authentic ways to deepen and simply navigate my walk with God. I think we are living in busy times and unless we are mindful of the basics, we are simply lead astray for what’s important far too quickly. Love your practice of intentionally praying for that guidance from the Spirit. Thanks for adding to the conversation today!

  7. Oh wow, Tiffany. It’s coming East from California I’m sure. :) Thus is so timely for me…just thus morningu looked up the verses in Hosea where God says He led with cords of kindness and yet they never recognized it was Him taking care if them. :: Thunk:: Straight from God’s word to my heart. Good stuff today.

    1. Lots of eye-opening moments through Hosea about how we ought to approach God and one another, and how He approaches us. The fullness of Gods word…straight to the heart for sure! Hugs, friend.

  8. So nice to meet you this week through our blogs, Tiffany! God is so patient and loving, as we struggle through and often fall into distractions. I actually have my phone set to pray about this very thing daily.

  9. In our house we call these distracted moments “squirrel” moments. If you’ve ever had a cat in your home you know what I’m talking about. :) It’s amazing to me how impatient and immediate our culture has become. I have been working so hard to be the opposite of this Tiffany and I love your perspective, esp as it relates to your doctor experience. It’s such a glaring example of how the world feeds into this immediate need to be satisfied. Beautiful words here today friend!

    1. Haha…I don’t have a cat, but I do have a mildly crazy dog, so I love that! :) I’m working right alongside you, Nicki to keep my focus in the right places and directions. Thanks for joining the conversation today!

  10. Tiffany, such a beautiful, convicting post. Yes, I’ve been there . . . Recently. In that place where distraction overtakes stillness. It’s been my struggle since school began for the boys in August. Thank you for the call to return to stillness with Jesus first and foremost. Hosea is an amazing story of God’s love for His people. Thanks for the call to love Him with all of who I am.

    1. Oh, I hear you, friend. It’s not just our routine and schedule that can fall prey to distraction, but managing others lives opens us up to all those things too. I’m trying to be more intentional these days to choose the better part first, before I run off and tackle everything else. Big hugs!

  11. I am not going to lie, I wish my doctors office had adult color books and a coffee bar! Haha, don’t worry though, I didn’t miss your actual message. I’ve been struggling with distraction lately and recently turned off all social media notifications on my phone. It took me a couple of days to truly let it go and not open the app every hour in case I missed something; but since I’ve done this I find myself able to focus more on things that are actually important. It is amazing the difference it has made.

  12. Tiffany,
    I had to laugh reading about your doctor’s office since I work for a hospital system and we’re always trying to improve the patient experience! But really, isn’t it funny the effort expended to distract you from waiting? {Which in the doctor’s office is annoying but in life is rather an act of perseverance!} I’m so grateful God doesn’t give up on us, no matter what we do, and through our challenges, he invites us to press closer to him. {Hope your wait wasn’t that long to see your physician!} xo

    1. Haha – I didn’t wait long, Valerie. It appeared to be a bit of an experiment and it came across a bit rough around the edges and honestly, I don’t think I was in the mood for it that day. ;) I’m glad too that God continually purses us and invites us in. Thanks for being here today, friend.

  13. Yes, Tiffany. We are such a distracted people. No sitting quietly on the porch each evening like my grandparents did. No, we are multi-tasking and distracted. I am trying to teach my children to just sit sometimes and not always be entertained, but it is hard. We have so few hours, so much to do, and don’t want to sit with the quiet of our thoughts.

    1. It’s so true for our children, Theresa. They don’t know what stillness looks like in these high tech days. Funny, we have the same amount of hours as our grandparents, but we sure pack them in differently, don’t we?! Thanks for joining the conversation today!!

  14. Thank you for sharing these uplifting thoughts today! This touched me: “I’m moved to confession, to lift apologies to the Lord for following after idols, for pursuing the wrong pattern just like the Israelites I’ve clucked my tongue at and shamed,” because I hear myself in those words! Even when I am in a place of forced slow-ness, where I hear Him so close to me, I find myself longing after the days of busyness. I am so thankful for that deep and wonderful GRACE that always pursues us! I am blessed to be your neighbor over at #TellHisStory this week!

    1. I hear you, Bettie. We often want the opposite of what we have, right?! I know how hard forced stillness can be when we long for our “normal” back. Yes and amen for His wonderful grace!

  15. Praise the Lord for continually pursuing us! We go astray so easily into the distractions of this life, but our loving Good Shepherd keeps coming after us and trying to lead us to the quiet waters to be still and know that He is God.

  16. Yes, sitting still and just breathing in deep takes some real concentration. It’s putting away the distractions and just relaxing in His Presence and what He says to us. I have been working at this lately and when I stop to listen, He whispers “Love.” Thanks for sharing with us, Tiffany!

  17. “Distractions that interrupt worship. Barren busyness that precedes stillness. Self-interest that steals time with God.” Oh, how my heart is convicted reading this post. I, too, get distracted much too often. Thank you for this sweet reminder to actively look for and guard against distraction. <3

  18. Thank you for this needful reminder, Tiffany. Though chronic illness forces me to be still physically more than I would be otherwise, those distractions in my mind and emotions are always there. Always fighting for my attention to get me from thinking on God. I love that God continually pursues us. He is so patient and faithful with us. :) Blessings and hugs to you!

    1. Our own wayward thoughts can truly derail us – I know what that feels like, Trudy. And it certainly isn’t easy to bring those thoughts into captivity. Yes – so grateful for his patience and His faithfulness to love us as we are, but work in our lives to make us more like Him. Hugs back, dear one. And thank you for your sweet card in my mailbox!!!!

  19. I relate to your thoughts as I have been forced to be still with recent back problems. There are treasures in the stillness, but they can be difficult to find when are easily frustrated by waiting, questioning, and wondering. Love your heart for Jesus! Visiting from my inbox as usual and #RaRaLinkup as well!

    1. Waiting is rough – especially when we have to do it not feeling well. So sorry for your back issues, Angela. Praying that there is sweetness and healing in your stillness, friend.

  20. What a sweet reminder… I also find it humbling to realize how often I don’t just “get” distracted, but actively look for distractions.
    Great thoughts, thanks. (from #TestimonyTuesday)
    Casey Capra

  21. Oh yes, Tiffany. I live distracted. I try to watch myself, but when I have even a few minutes of free time, it’s easy to grab that phone rather than just take advantage of stillness and BE. Camilla’s reading through Hosea these days and shares so many wonderful verses and thoughts at breakfast. :)

    1. I’m really enjoying Hosea. It’s not a place I’ve spent a lot of time before and its truly humbling and convicting to see God’s reaction to a people who so easily forget Him. Thanks for your comment, friend.

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