- Don’t Leave!
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Every year my family and I visit Charleston, SC over spring break. We really love the “Low Country” and if you have never been, I highly recommend a trip. Charleston has a unique mix of history, natural beauty, charm, romance and southern hospitality. Whenever we visit Charleston we usually spend a few glorious days on the beaches of the Isle of Palms and Rachel and I fantasize about one day retiring nearby. This year The Circus-7 and I were leaving the beach after a long day of sand castles, seashells and sunburn when something strange happened. (FYI: “The Circus 7″ is the nickname for our family. On May 27th, 2010 we became “The Circus 8″, but that’s a post for another day.) I was backing our Honda Odyssey out of the prime beach-side parking spot when I noticed a few men, in the lot across the street, waving at me. I remember thinking how darn friendly people are down south and how people in the northeast usually wave in a different manner all together, usually with one finger. I drove a few more feet only to have some more folks along the sidewalk start waving and pointing at me too. I am embarrassed to admit that I thought, if only for a moment, that maybe they were fans of The Ordained Barista blog and recognized me from my photo. What? It could happen. Ha. Well, needless to say that’s not why they were waving! Yep, you guessed it, I left my cup of coffee on the roof of my car and started to drive away.
The fact that I left my cup of coffee on the roof, of course, was absolutely no surprise to my wife Rachel. I have a long and storied history of leaving random things on the roof of my car. Some of these items include but are not limited to: the TV channel changer, our home phone, my cell phone, a subway sandwich (which was “eaten” by the tires of the ford explorer following closely behind me. ), 4 chapters of my manuscript, my computer bag and countless cups of coffee. There are a couple of reasons that I have been so guilty, over the years, of leaving so many different things on the roof of my car and driving away. The first reason (Rachel says “excuse”) is that the roof of most vehicles is roughly the height of a table or desk and a long time ago I got into the bad habit of putting things on top of the car, especially while loading kids into car seats. (Ok, at 6’8″ tall I realize that not everyone can use the roof of their vehicle as a table.) The second and more significant reason I leave things on my roof is that I am, admittedly, a very easily distracted person. Today’s blog post is all about spiritual distractions or SADD (Spiritual attention deficit disorder). What are the things in your life distract you from spending time with God? What are the things in your life that distract you from “offering your body as a living sacrifice”? (Romans 12) There are quite a few distractions in life that keep my spiritual “Go Juice” on the roof while I try, in vain, to navigate this journey of life on my own strength! Here are a few of the distractions that seem to pop up in my life on a regular basis.
- Not caring for my body: Exercising, eating well and getting enough sleep. It’s weird, when I am eating well and exercising I feel a closeness to God that I don’t completely understand. We are all familiar with Eric Lidell’s famous line from the movie Chariots of Fire: “I believe God made me for a purpose, but he also made me fast. And when I run I feel His pleasure.” When I exercise it has a way of clearing my mind and relieving the stress of the day. Unfortunately, unlike Eric, when I run I feel like God is punishing me. Ha. Do you know what I mean? I’ll stick with the bike.
- Worry: Having turned 40 this year with 6 children (2 girls, aahhhhh…) I find myself worrying about a lot of things these days.
- Materialism: I still don’t have an ipad and the new iphone comes out June 24th, need I say more?
- Busyness: Far and away the biggest distraction in my life is busyness. Busyness can give you a false sense of importance and skews even the best priorities (like working in a church and being “busy for God”). I am notorious for scheduling things into the margins of life and leaving little time for rest, recovery or to hear the voice of God. I love the quote by Eugene Peterson from his book Working the Angles; “Busyness is the enemy of spirituality. Busyness is essentially laziness. It is doing the easy thing instead of the hard thing. It is filling our time with our own actions instead of paying attention to God’s actions.” Man, that Eugene Peterson guy is unreal.
So these are just a few things that distract me from noticing that my spiritual priorities are, at times, on the roof while I am driving. Please leave a comment on today’s discussion topic: What are some of the things in your life that distract you in your spiritual journey? By taking the time to identify the things that can distract us we have a better chance of avoiding traps as they pop-up and we can more easily recognize when we are trapped in the snares of a distraction. The best comment on today’s post will win a copy of Jonathan Acuff”s new book: Stuff Christians Like. Remember to please leave a comment below, forward this post on facebook or twitter and become a subscriber to The Ordained Barista blog today! Thanks!