Losing Sight Series: Symptoms of “I” strain.

(This is part two in a series about when we lose sight of God.)

How do we lose sight of Jesus or his plan for our lives? We’ve all no doubt experienced at least temporary blindness.101_9341

When I read the scriptures, I am astounded that even those closest to Jesus, those that walked, lived and ate with him…even lost sight of him.

The story of Mary and Martha recounted in the book of Luke chapter 10 speaks of one sister being caught up in details, losing sight of her Savior while the other sister sat eagerly as His feet. Jesus said to Mary Luke 10:41/42

“Martha, Martha,” the Lord answered, “you are worried and upset about many things, 42 but few things are needed—or indeed only one.[a]Mary has chosen what is better, and it will not be taken away from her.”

What are some of the symptoms that we are entering into tunnel vision where we are focused more on “I” than on HIM.

JOYLESSNESS:  Are we losing joy in our noble pursuits? Martha was stressed. Jesus didn’t say that Martha was distracted by Pinterest or Facebook (zing!) He said, “with much serving”. We need to be mindful that even good and Godly things can become a distraction if we take our eyes of Jesus. When joy seeps out of service we need to ask ourselves some questions. Do our efforts cause stress for us or those we love? More importantly…do our noble efforts replace our relationship with our Creator?time clock

FRUSTRATION: When we begin to question God’s identity in the middle of a crisis, it is a symptom that we are losing sight of who He says He is. When we think Jesus doesn’t care about what we are going through, we need to rediscover who God is.  Martha actually told Jesus to tell Mary to help. She said, “Don’t you care that she’s left me to do all this alone?”. Martha legit thought that Jesus didn’t care about her stress or her feelings. When we sense that God no longer cares about us, we’ve lost sight of Him.

OVERWHELMED: Are we drowning in details or despair? Do we feel that there is not enough room to breathe or enough hours in the day? Martha felt there was not time to get everything done before Jesus arrived. When we feel overwhelmed by doing, we need to stop and reconsider what God has actually told us to do. Has God provided someone to do that task or help with it? Have we recognized that helper or have we insisted on doing it ourselves, our way? When we struggle with the pressure of getting it all done, we’ve lost sight of God’s plan for us.

100_4946ISOLATION: Have you ever felt totally alone or utterly abandoned? When those feelings become your focus, it’s likely that you’ve lost sight of the God that will never leave or forsake you.  Loneliness and despair that sucks your life out is a result of distance or separation between you and your Creator. Some soul searching often reveals – we are the one who moved…God is where he’s always been.

SILENCE: Do you ever feel like your prayers are bouncing off the ceiling? Sometimes our prayer life feels like a one-way conversation. Are we guilty of telling God what we are doing and ask for his blessings? Are we all talk…and no listen? (zing!) When we are no longer hearing from God, chances are we quit listening. The silence is often a symptom of us losing sight of Jesus.

If we are experiencing any of these symptoms, it is time for a check up.  Most likely the diagnosis is distance and temporary blindness. Next week we will explore the causes “I” strain and the following blog will address the remedy!

POINT TO PONDER: Are you experiencing any of the symptoms of “I” strain? Have you perhaps lost sight of who holds the keys to your heart or the Light unto your path? What remedy do you seek? We’d love to see your comments here at kissedbythecreator!
Catch us Monday thru Friday at 6:30am EST for #HOPEscope on www.periscope.tv Look for Connie P. Shoemaker or kissedbycreator we are going through the book of John!

 

Being PRESENT in His PRESENCE

DSC_2200I’ve been pondering distractions lately.  Watching people in stores, restaurants and at the pool or in cars and noticing how distractions divide our attention. Often the people we are with become second when we are distracted.

Statistics show traffic accidents on the rise as well as accidental deaths and injuries all  due to a “lack of focus”. My friend posted a sign they posted in the work place about personal cell phone usage because her employees were more focused on their phones than their customers.  In several instances employees playing a game on company time actually suffered accidental injuries in the workplace while they were rushing to capture a fictional creature.

My friend Beth was the victim of serious car accident due to a DSC_0248distracted driver who was texting.  Both legs and pelvis were broken and she spent days in the hospital and months recovering all because the other driver was distracted.

When parents are distracted often the kids pay the price for it.  I know how quickly a child can scamper when we are distracted by something.  As a young mom I thought the kids worked as a team.  One would distract me so the other could climb on the table or out the door.

DSC_0904Distractions cause our communication to suffer.  Trying to chat with my husband while he’s watching  Golf, is never productive. Striking up a conversation with me, when I’m proofreading or writing is also bound to result in frustration for both of us.

Many of our distractions are manmade and the result of choices we make. We choose to fill our boredom or our gaps with a distraction instead of allowing solitude or silence or focusing on what’s in front of us.  A man who makes his living in the tech industry and Google gaming sees the danger in distractions.

“I’d argue that what’s happening is that we’re becoming like the mal-formed weight lifter who trains only their upper body and has tiny little legs. We’re radically over-developing the parts of quick thinking, distractible brain and letting the long-form-thinking, creative, contemplative, solitude-seeking, thought-consolidating pieces of our brain atrophy by not using them. And, to me, that’s both sad and dangerous.” -Joe Kraus  Partner at Google Ventures.

One of the scary things about this quote is that it was mentioned in a speech he gave in 2012.  Four years ago.  Also frightening was his take on “solitude-seeking, thought consolidating pieces of our brains”.

Where do we find God?  What does the Bible say about seeking alone and quiet time with God?

DSC_0903“But the LORD is in his holy temple; let all the earth be silent before him.” (Habakkuk 2:20)

“In repentance and rest is your salvation, in quietness and trust is your strength.” (Isaiah 30:15)

“Be still and know that I am God.” (Psalm 46:10)

“Very early in the morning, while it was still dark, Jesus got up, left the house and went off to a solitary place, where he prayed.” (Mark 1:35)

“Jesus often withdrew to lonely places and prayed.” (Luke 5:16)

 

I believe distractions are not only costing our personal relationships but also our heavenly ones.  Our Connection to the Creator is causing a shift in our spiritual lives as well.  It is more about the culture shaping us than us shaping the culture.

Are we missing messages and missions God has for us because we are too distracted to connect with him?

POINT TO PONDER: What can you do today that can help you to increase your quiet time with God and make it distraction free?

We will be discussing this during our Retreat “HOPE: An Anchor for your Soul” get details here: http://kissedbythecreator.com/?page_id=406

Catch us on #HOPEscope every Monday – Friday at 7:15am on www.periscope.tv  (search Connie P. Shoemaker or kissedbycreator)

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