It was a busy time for me, and distractions were everywhere. Email lists I had no time to read. One hundred blogs I was trying to keep up on. Facebook. The messy house around me. Television in the background. My kids’ chattering. Snoring. Sound effects from Wizards 101. The cat attacking my leg – or sleeping on my head.
Where was that cone of silence when I needed it?
I had a big project to finish. And I was behind. If I could just remove the distractions—turn off the noise around me – I would be able to catch up, and perhaps even surpass my goal. I knew it.
So, as much as I could, I did just that. I turned off the email lists and straightened (or ignored :::blush::: ) the messy house. I put in my ear buds. I shut down my internet. I did everything I could possibly do to turn off the noise around me.
But still, I was distracted. By what, you ask?
By the negative voices in my head.
Satan was whispering in my ear. He reminded me of the many rejections I’d gotten for my writing. Of how poor my descriptions were. Of how inaccurate my scenes were since I hadn’t researched the time period enough. How the bits I were writing were not crucial to the plot. About how far behind I was already. That even if I DID finish, the work would still be plenty, and I’d never find the time to get it done.
That I’d never be happy with what I had. So why not just quit?
And then I remembered that our God is not a god of discouragement or negative talk. That nothing great was ever accomplished that was simple. That God impressed on me to do this task.
Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged, for the LORD your God will be with you wherever you go.
Joshua 1:9 NIV
A couple years ago, I came across a quote by Helen Keller that blew me away and encouraged me greatly. I hope it does the same for you.
Be of good cheer. Do not think of today’s failures, but of success that may come tomorrow. You have set yourselves a difficult task, but you will succeed if you persevere; and you will have a joy in overcoming obstacles—a delight in climbing rugged paths which you would perhaps never know if you did not sometimes slip backward, if the road were always smooth and pleasant. Remember, no effort that we make to attain something beautiful is ever lost. —Helen Keller
Heavenly Father, help me to turn off ALL the distractions that are keeping me from doing what You want me to—the outward ones when possible, and always the voice of the enemy, which, with Your help, is completely in my control to turn off. Let me persevere and finish strong. In Jesus’ name. Amen