Thursday, February 27, 2014

distractions...

this may seem a tad nonsensical & overly dramatic, but it's rolled around in my head these past few days so i am attempting to assign it some words.  i've been distracted. a lot. lately.

as january came to a close, i was invited to join a book club.  it's meets tomorrow morning and i know only one person in the "club".  but part of my  "resolve"  this year is to nourishing my relationships with friends.  it presses me to be brave & vulnerable, and not hibernating in "that part' of my life that makes me so one dimensional. i received the invite via text message & immediately responded "yes-i'm in".  an email was delivered shortly thereafter with all the details of the club along with the title & author. with much excitement, i ordered the book from my phone off amazon and it arrived a two days later {love amazon prime}.  the goldfinch by donna tartt.  seven hundred, seventh-one pages.  a hardcover weighing close to eighteen pounds-more accurately 2.3, but at night when my biceps are ready for bed, it feels closer 23 pounds as i attempt to prop it up.
i quickly formulated a reading plan.  i would need to read 28 1/2 pages a day.  everyday.  for the entire month of february-the shortest month of the year!  i confessed to amber after a week of reading that i had fallen a bit behind and was going to have to drop out of the "club" because the task was insurmountable & i couldn't show up on the 28th with the book only partially read.  but she encouraged me, having full confidence in my reading abilities.  she obviously failed to remember my constant placement in the "slow as a snail" , not the "speedy foxes", reading group as a child.

but her confidence in me, grew my tenacity and i pressed on.  and tuesday night i finished. but at a cost...

this month i have been distracted.  the goldfinch has had all of my attention.  {this is where the drama might begin to unfold-but sometimes the dramatic is what gets my attention}.  i read my bible-journal-pray-memorize daily.  but not this month.  because of those 771 pages sitting on my nightstand coupled with my reply "yes-i'm in".  hear what i am saying, there is nothing ungodly about reading for entertainment.  God gifted people with the ability to intellectually articulate for 771 pages. and He also is not against us having things in our lives that we love be it our companion, career, hobby, health or wealth.  but we cannot allow the "things" to become our priority over Him.  and while i was not praying to my book morning & night or lighting candles in its honor or resting it on a golden throne when it wasn't cupped in my hands, it became my focus-my obsession.  and i was acutely aware of my preoccupation with this hardcover, yet i was still unable to place God in His proper first place position.  

and while getting off track over a book seems harmless, it reminds me of a time when doctors-medicine-a cure distracted me.  finding my solution-my outcome-my comfort over that of God's led our family & my husband on a wild {and dangerous} chase a few years back.  i felt-believed-knew God would answer the many prayers that were being said on behalf of our family and that my pjm would be healed, right here on earth, before my very eyes.  and it was in a very dark moment, when i whispered a quiet confession that only God heard that pjm & his health & his provision for our family was my idol-my obsession-my distraction.  i had for years placed him on that golden throne with God as a close second.   and the goldfinch, a book focused around an oil painting of a small little bird chained to its feed box, reminds me how easily "things" can take precedence over God.  and i see myself in that painting, a small life chained to what feeds me.

dear God.
please be that which feeds me.
and let all else come in second.
in Your name.  amen.











2 comments:

  1. I know your battle between spending too much with novel reading and finding that right balance. But I also say nothing takes me away to a place of rest and escape than a few minutes with a good book. It is my happy place. So I say "good for you" for joining a book club and adding another thing to your life to enrich it . And font think of it as homework, if you finish great and if not go for the fellowship and see what everyone else loved about it. Your posts always make me think and refocus and ask myself too if God is first. Thank you for that and for being YOU !!!
    ps did you enjoy the book? worth reading? {after my bible of course :)

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  2. Slow as snail reading group? I think not! Bravo for finishing the book and God was right there with you. Many lessons learned because you are a smarty pants and very much loved!

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