How many things distract you during any given day?
Daydreams, having to check your phone every time it chirps at you (or when it doesn’t), breaking news stories, gossip, interruptions, worry, thinking about lunch plans in the middle of the Sunday message? Do you find that wayward thoughts distract you even in the middle of your prayers? (I hate when that happens. It’s like visiting with a friend and then having to apologize for not really listening because your mind went its own direction for a moment.)
Psychologists have long promoted the idea that we are all motivated by what brings us pleasure. We spend because it brings us pleasure to buy things. And we save because we perceive that will bring us greater pleasure later. We serve ourselves or we deny ourselves, we eat or we abstain, because of the satisfaction we attach to those acts.
I wonder if we are distracted from really important things in our life because we are too easily pleased with ‘lesser’ things. CS Lewis states that we are content to make mud pies in the street when we could be enjoying a vacation by the sea. Either not aware of the richness of other life activities or persuaded that something lesser will satisfy more, we too often settle for less. We KNOW eating a healthy snack or saving money would match our values better, but we settle for empty calories and spur of the moment purchases because it seems appealing at the time. Or maybe we pursue activities we know don’t match our values because we think they will appease our feeling of sadness, pain, sorrow, etc.
In this journey with leukemia, I have really enjoyed the satisfaction of reveling in God’s creation, visiting with family and friends, quality time with my wife, and quiet times with God. These are some of the best things in life. They help me to put a dimmer on pain so I can actually see the joy around me. (I said sometimes. It seems a hard lesson to master.)
I wonder if you have recently taken time to think about the things that bring you pleasure and then considered which of these bring you the MOST pleasure? Is it possible that your greatest satisfaction is found in growing your relationship with the one who created you and who has such a good plan for you? I think it starts with growing a thankful heart. I hope your ‘thanks’ list is growing more than your complaints and wish list these days. Don’t let the lesser things of life distract you from enjoying life fully!