by Nancy Kay Grace
Whom have I in heaven but you? Earth has nothing I desire besides you. My flesh and my heart may fail, but God is the strength of my heart and my portion forever. Psalm 73:25-26 NIV
The cooler weather beckoned me to go outside and sit at my patio table to journal. Seems simple enough, but first I had to clear the table of flowerpots, put away cleaning supplies, and wipe off the table. Thirty minutes later, I had a pleasant outdoor workspace.
I opened my journal to write down thoughts about our recent vacation, recalling the sights we’d seen and things we’d experienced. Only a few words were on the page when the distraction happened. Barking.
The neighbor’s dog continually woofed at me through the slats of the fence.
Looking toward the fence, I shouted, “Stop it!” (As if I had command over the dog!)
Of course, it didn’t work. More barking.
“Quiet! Enough, already!” The illusion of my control continued.
Louder barking. I had failed as the dog whisperer.
A dog I couldn’t see was derailing my plans for productive writing. For more than fifteen minutes, the nonstop barking ten feet away kept me distracted. I had no control over the dog.
Aggravation replaced any peacefulness in my spirit. I thought clearing the table to work outside on a beautiful day would bring satisfaction. It didn’t. Then I thought I would be satisfied if I outlasted the barking. But how satisfying and peaceful is it to try to outlast a barking dog?
Ummm . . . not very.
Eventually he moved to the other side of his yard; but it took a while for me to regain a peaceful frame of mind. Finally, I enjoyed a short time at the table with the cool breeze, my thoughts, and my journal.
Even a beautiful day can be robbed of satisfaction if we let it. Unexpected distractions can steal our inner peace. The challenge is in changing our perspective to look at God, trusting Him in a deeper way instead of focusing on the interruption. Most distractions are temporary, yet they can derail our best intentions. Only by looking to God do we find true satisfaction.
Psalm 73:25-26 provides an in-course correction for our perspective: “Whom have I in heaven but you? Earth has nothing I desire besides you. My flesh and my heart may fail, but God is the strength of my heart and my portion forever” (NIV).
When I’m tired, God is my strength. When I fall short, God fills the gap with His love. When I need peace, He calms my heart and mind.
Are you needing soul satisfaction? God is enough, already.
This article is brought to you by the Advanced Writers and Speakers Association (AWSA).
About the author: Nancy Kay Grace is the speaker and award-winning author of The Grace Impact, a devotional about God’s grace. Her website, blog, and GraceNotes newsletter sign-up are found at www.nancykaygrace.com. As a cancer survivor, she writes about hope, perseverance, and God’s grace. Nancy enjoys hugs from grandchildren, playing worship songs on piano, hiking, and travel.
Join the conversation: How do you move past distractions?