Tag: distractions

Close the door

Sunday Sermon 8.1.20

Early this morning, this phrase came crashing into my heart and upon my mind, “Close the door”.

I hadn’t heard a door slam, nor had there been creatures invading us; the weather wasn’t threatening, neither were the circumstances. So why the imprint of this phrase on my psyche?

While pursuing its import, two main points developed before me.

We, adult humans are faced with 35,000 decisions each day with 226.7 of them alone, having to do with the food we eat (or don’t). That means, if we spend 7 hours sleeping each night, (and we assume no choices are made in our sleep, a BIG assumption) then, that means we make 2,000 decisions per hour or 1 decision every 2 seconds!

That’s alot of choosing, options, brain stress and distractions!

Many of those decisions are unconscious, but they are still decisions that the brain encodes 10 seconds before we even consciously, and with awareness make the actual decision. The brain has decided and then the conscious thoughts justify the decision. The decision is made in the neurocircuitry of our brain by predicting outcomes ahead of time. Then we actually make the choice in real time.

All of that research was published long before Covid and still remains true. But with Covid, those decisions have been confined to a smaller setting – our home, or the area we spend most our life in.

There are so many influences, voices, reports, demands, people, speaking or often yelling at us with directives. And what is spoken as truth this week, often morphs into something entirely different next week.

Our heads, hearts, and emotions are bombarded, battered and bruised with the onslaught information, (or misinformation) and in my view, these all are distractions, that must be cut off.

Close the Door point 1CLOSE THE DOOR on distractions that bring you anything but life, faith, hope, peace, and joy.

Turn off, stop listening daily, ignore notifications, stop feeding fear, don’t read it, refuse to own it. Don’t give place in your life to the endless, fearful distractions.

It is one of those 35,000 decisions you can make now, ahead of time and get your brain in the encoding process. Close the door to distractions.

In Matthew 6:6, Jesus told his disciples, to go into their room and CLOSE THE DOOR (and pray). He instructed them to close out distractions, shut themselves in with who really mattered, and focus on what was more important.

I am not saying to close yourself off from the world and only pray, that’s just weird and ineffective. I am saying, in order to be strong and effective in your mission on earth, you must learn to close the door on distractions while focusing on what is important.

Another place we see “close the door” in the Bible is in 2 Kings 4.

A widow, with two sons was facing creditor problems involving the seizing of her sons for repayment. She was desperate, so she sought out the prophet Elisha. She confessed to him she had nothing of value in her home (to sell) “except a small jar of olive oil.” 2 Kings 4:2

He told her to gather from her neighbors as many empty jars as she could and not just a few. Then she was to go inside her house and “shut the door” behind her and her sons, where they would then pour her oil into each empty jar that they had gathered.

She did as she was told – gathered, shut the door and poured into each jar. When there were no more jars to fill, her oil stopped flowing. Every jar had been filled and were now filling her home. She had plenty to sell, paid off the creditors, and lived off of what was left.

Close the door point 2You have all you need at home (your little bit of oil), you need to pour it out into empty vessels.

Your family and those who enter your home need what you have. You can fill them with your words, actions, kindness, encouragement, prayer, help, correction, insight, love. What you do behind the closed doors of your home is where the “anointing” starts. The outpouring of God’s spirit of love and favor – His anointing oil of the Spirit, starts at home, behind closed doors. Pour out your “little” oil there and see how you little becomes much.

It is my determination to ask the Lord to help me close the doors of distraction in my life, and work within me behind the closed doors of my home to fill up empty vessels.

I want His help in recoding my neurocircuitry and decision making prowess. I want to equip my brain with the positive and faith building data to allow it to predict the most favorable outcomes. This is a decision I have made!

Won’t you join me?

Close those doors, keep pouring out.

Go with God.

Debbie’s Parable of the Weeds

For weeks now, every time I sit down at our kitchen table and look out the window, these weeds are all I see. And they’re not really in our backyard. They are just beyond our retaining wall. But they are oh, so ugly, and now so blooming tall!

I actually didn’t even notice them for a while, we were keeping the curtains closed during the cold and rainy weeks. Then, when we opened the curtains, I still didn’t notice them, cuz they were of course smaller. But now, and for the last couple of weeks they are so obvious. I must do something about them.

Today was the day of their doom.

die sucker! got your roots, too!

Weeds you know, are not intentionally sown, they grow where they’re not wanted, and grow automatically. They are considered opportunistic and will grow in any moist soil, tiny crack or thin layer of turf. “Weeds are competitive, persistent and interfere negatively with human activity.” (Dwight Ligenfelter, Dept. of Agronomy Penn State)

Weeds choke out life, rob soil and other plants of important nutrients, water and sunlight. Weeds are plants whose undesirable qualities outweigh the desirable qualities.

Farmers have said that weeds left unchecked can cut the harvest 40-60%.

So BAM! Away with them! Up from the roots they go. Bye, Bye Bye. (hear NSYNC in background)

Have you picked up any symbolism here?

Weeds are the things in our life that keep us from being productive. Things that steal away the important from us. Distractions that eat up our vital nutrients and exposure to light. Weeds are the things that make us unfruitful. Often too, weeds are a sign of neglect and perhaps even laziness.

If I think of weeds as distractions that keep me away from what is important, then the top of my weed list is my phone. Although I use it for everything and a lot of it is needed, useful, and good, not all of the swipes are, nor all the time on it is. It does distract me, steal my focus and eat up valuable time.

I don’t want the weeds in my life to be left unnoticed or unchecked but I want them UPROOTED! I am seeking a productive life, not overgrown with nonessentials and harvest hinderers.

I’m choosing to uproot and remove those pesky distractions before they flower and produce more seeds! I’m also searching for those dormant weeds in the soil of my heart, those that have been there for years to get rid of them, at the root.

GONE! Roots and all

I am only interested in good fruit from my life and want to prune away the small, insignificant, and barren branches. I want to feed the good and healthy and keep distractions from choking off their continued health and growth.

Because weeds grow so fast, pro gardeners recommend pulling weeds weekly. I’m in, I’m game. I know I need it. And, there’s such great joy that comes after you spend time in the garden, weeding, cleaning and pruning. Then you wash it all down, and sit back and enjoy it with a tall, cool glass.

I trust that you will join me in uprooting any unnecessary distractions in your life so that you, too, may be 100% productive.

“Weeds are stubborn. Weeds are independent. Weeds aren’t tolerated.” Marty Rubin

Cheers to you.