October 29, 2021
Defeated by Distraction
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“I will meditate on your precepts and fix my eyes on your ways.” Psalm 119:15 (ESV)
“Runners, to your mark.”
The starting pistol fired, yet I could not move.
Not only did I feel like there was cement in my shoes, but my entire body seemed to be weighed down like I was tethered to the fence surrounding the track.
I set out to place in the top three in this invitational high school track meet, which was full of great competitors from the region. But in the hours leading up to the race, all I had done was worry about it. And now it seemed as if my mind had done so much running that my body was no longer able to participate.
As I attempted to force myself down the track, it seemed as if I was moving in slow motion. Everything around me was moving, but no matter how hard I tried, I couldn’t go any faster.
Although I wasn’t in last place, this was definitely not my best race. But I decided to keep going and cross the finish line.
Afterward, I thought about what I could have done differently. I had gotten enough sleep the night before and drank plenty of water before the race. I had stretched, and I’d heard the sound signaling it was time to leave the starting blocks. But I had silently worked myself up so much in my mind that the resulting stress left me unable to utilize my body in the way I desired.
That experience shifted something within me. Because of it, I became determined to protect my thoughts before every race, as it was clear there was a connection between the thoughts in my mind and the performance of my body. And I did not like the idea of allowing my own worried or racing thoughts to keep me from achieving my goals.
Do you ever allow your thoughts to get in your own way or slow down your ability to accomplish something?
Imagine just how far and fast we could go if only we did what is found in Psalm 119:15, which says, “I will meditate on your precepts and fix my eyes on your ways.”
My friend, becoming intentional about the thoughts you’re meditating on — and fixing your attention on the ways of God — will protect you from distracting perceptions that stress you or disable you from completing your divine assignments. More importantly, managing your thoughts will anchor you in the truth about who you are, whose you are and what you’re capable of.
You’re running your own race. No one can compete with the plans God has for you, so there’s no need to worry about what’s taking place in other lanes.
Focus your attention on God instead of what’s taking place in the lanes around you. Only then can you remain relaxed and ready to respond to God’s starting signals for you.
Runner, to your mark.
Dear God, forgive me for allowing my thoughts to distract me. Thank You for Your presence and loving guidance. Help me to keep my attention focused on You, modeling Your thoughts and ways as I navigate life’s journey. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.
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FOR DEEPER STUDY
2 Corinthians 10:5, “We demolish arguments and every pretension that sets itself up against the knowledge of God, and we take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ.” (NIV)
Isaiah 55:7-8, “Let the wicked forsake their ways and the unrighteous their thoughts. Let them turn to the LORD, and he will have mercy on them, and to our God, for he will freely pardon. ‘For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways,’ declares the LORD.” (NIV)
When do you struggle to meditate on God’s wisdom and guidance? What thoughts are currently having a negative impact on your life?
We’d love to hear from you! Share your thoughts in the comments.
© 2021 by Tracie Braylock. All rights reserved.