We have all heard how dangerous it is to drive while distracted. Hundreds die every year in accidents caused by distracted drivers. There are billboards along the freeway reminding us that no text is worth dying over. Obviously, I am not the only one distracted by my phone 24/7. But have we really given any thought to the other distractions in our lives, and what they are taking away from us? Let me illustrate.
This past Sunday I sat down to do a little indexing. Indexing is transferring old records into the FamilySearch database. Often it’s taking handwritten records from a hundred years ago or more and typing it out for people to read easier.
I am not very good at family history. I don’t know where to look to find lost relatives. But I am a great secretary and typist. So I can easily transcribe old records. And I try to do a little every Sunday so that I feel like I’m doing my part to hasten the Lord’s work. …As long as I don’t give in to distraction.
WELL, this Sunday I decided to check Facebook first because my friend is selling her house and I wanted to know how it was going. That lead me to look up the floor plan for the new house my sister in law is having built. Then I began fantasizing about all the things I would change in my house, which lead to finding the perfect floor plan with a builder I love close by, which leads to a phone call to my husband where I tried to convince him we would have all our problems solved if we just moved.
What happened to my family history effort? I got distracted. And I gave my poor husband a stress attack thinking that I was trying to uproot us all just before school starts. Sigh. Writing this I am seeing all the ways that my little adventure in house hunting really could have sent us down a difficult path.
I’m grateful for the steadying influence of my husband who patiently pointed out I would be trading one set of problems for another. And in the meantime I got no family history done. Not. One. Bit.
Do you see how Satan carefully led me away from the best thing? He reminded me of my friend—a good thing to check up on those we love. Sunday is for friends and family after all. But then it all went wrong. And I let him do it. If I had been more focused on my project, on my plan, then I would not have been so easily led.
What in your life is causing you to get distracted? What are you forgetting to do?
This past weekend we had a family gathering. It was a double birthday party for my husband and his father. And the adults were having so much fun chatting that we forgot to check on the kids playing in the basement. Now our computer monitor that we use for home school has a small child’s art work forever scratched into it. Distraction is dangerous.
How can we stay focused?
Read your Scriptures
I managed to pull myself out of my own “brain trap” about the whole house hunt by reading my scriptures. As I read, I began to feel peace. I was so tied up in anxiety that that peace was really a balm to my soul.
I also said a prayer, and the Lord reminded me of all I would be losing if I moved. My beautiful garden could not come with me. The friends we love so much and neighbors we adore would no longer be close by. And the list goes on and on. God really has a wonderful way of reminding me of what matters when I turn my mind toward my blessings.
Count your Blessings
Which leads me to number 3—I started thinking about my blessings. I started thinking about what is right with my world instead of what is wrong with it. And that made a big difference.
These are small things, but they have a big impact. That is a lot like a distraction. A quick text is a small thing, but trying to send it while we are driving can cause a big accident. I’m newly committed to staying focused. Now off to do some of that indexing I meant to do all along.
Patty thrives on all things creative. You’ll often find her in the garden pretending she is a suburban farmer. She loves meeting new people, and is devoted to her friends and family. In her heart she is a Midwesterner even though life has moved her all over the country. She believes in “blooming where you’re planted” and has found purpose in every place she has been. She has a deep and abiding love for the Savior and the Gospel of Jesus Christ. And she loves editing LDS Blogs because it is a constant spiritual uplift. Not many people can say their job builds their witness of the Savior.