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“Distracted” by Maria Allen

“Distracted” by Maria Allen

Twenty-Ninth Sunday in Ordinary Time

I’m so easily distracted, like all the time. I don’t know about you but I end up wasting so much time because I am distracted. I even got distracted in the middle of writing that last sentence. It comes so easily, so fast, and is so constant.

A life of distraction.

I wouldn’t be surprised if this is the life that most of us lead. There are probably various reasons for the distractions too. Perhaps we welcome them and seek them out – they are an escape from reality or a form of procrastination. Perhaps we try to avoid them but we just can’t help ourselves or they’re just unavoidable. Or perhaps distraction has become simply the norm, the way of life. We don’t know how to live un-distracted. There are so many things vying for our attention; so many avenues of distraction.

God calls us to Himself. In a world of distraction, He calls us to focus on Him and only Him. He both challenges and invites us to step out of our life of constant interference and disturbances, and to fix our gaze, to set our eyes, on Him. In this, truly, my soul finds rest (Ps. 62). In a spinning world, He asks us to stand still, fixed on Him.

So often we relegate our faith, our relationship with God, as just another thing on the list…another distraction in our everyday, very busy, very hectic life. Take a second. Be brutally honest with yourself right now. Ask yourself, “Have I reduced my life with God to merely a distraction? Is God simply another distraction in my life? One of many distractions?” I’ll be honest with you, sometimes the answer for me is “yes”. And that makes me so incredibly sad. The God of glory, the God of wonder, the God who LOVES me oh so much, who cares for me at all times, who watches over me – is a distraction to me? Among so many distractions? So many trivial, little, meaningless distractions, and I’ve reduced God to that?

The readings today call me out, and call me to truth. “I have called you by name, giving you a title, though you knew me not…I am the Lord, there is no other” (1st Reading). Our purpose, our “title” is to be His – to know, love, serve, and give glory to Him (Psalm). For we were chosen by Him, made for Him and thus we are never truly whole, we are never truly not distracted, unless we are directed towards Him, unless our eyes are fixed on Him.

I’ve always said this to myself, and I don’t know where I got it from – maybe from my parents or a teacher – but I’ve always had to remind myself to “keep God at the forefront of my mind,” and I always touch my forehead when saying it. Now this does not simply mean to keep God first in a list of everything else. Rather, He’s outside of that list, all those distractions, and everything must come and go through Him.

So take a moment right now and refocus.  It might seem goofy, but touch your forehead, and ask God to be on the forefront of your mind for the rest of today.  Pray for the grace to focus on him and on the things that really matter in life, and after that all the other distractions we have will find their place.

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