How can we center ourselves in this busy, zoom-zoom society and guard ourselves from distractions? –Say, “No!” more?
Well, from March 26th – April 2nd, 10 courageous women joined me in a Fasting and Prayer Challenge in conjunction with the “26 Compelling Reasons Why A Fasting & Prayer Challenge is SO-ul Needed” blog post. Typically, when I’m led to fast, I have a strong sense of what I should fast from and for, but this time around, I wasn’t sure?!
Instead of rushing and randomly choosing something to fast from, I prayed, promoted the challenge, and waited to see what God would urge me to do.
As the email signups came through to join the challenge and I read the women’s prayer requests, I felt less inclined to petition God for myself. I was more inclined to make room in my life to pray for the group, to reflect, and –to chill.
I was struck by each woman’s vulnerability and desire to seek God.
I could see, God had set us up to get centered together, even if just for 7 days and to do our best to fight off the many distractions that intrude our lives, whether it be Facebook, TV or sugar.
By the way, if you’re not clear on what a distraction is: it’s anything that diverts one’s attention, causing an inability to focus or think clearly. Entertainment can serve as a form of distraction too.
Here’s a short list of distractions that may be familiar to you:
- Distractions that pop up at work.
- Distractions while driving —Help us Lawwwd!
- Distractions throughout social media.
- Distractions from keeping up with the wrong company.
- Distractions that clutter and cloud your mind.
Not all distractions are bad, but in order for me to make room for the challenge physically and spiritually, I knew I had to be on guard for all distractions. So, I made a mental agreement to not add anything to my calendar during the 7 day challenge, especially energy zapping activities, frivolous conversations and time consuming bunny trails, ah –distractions.
“You can increase productivity and peace by saying, “NO!” to time consuming bunny trails. -@tiffytalks “
It wasn’t easy! Of course, I got a call to fill in as a radio show moderator and I was asked to give a word for Good Friday, but I politely declined both requests. I also pushed off a bunch of emails that lacked urgency.
As I bit down tightly on my bottom lip, I was able to say, “NO!” to the entrepreneurial power lunches, the tea dates, and a double thumbs down to all spontaneous “Yes-s-s’s!” to things I really didn’t have time for, anyways.
As a result, I had the clearest week I’ve had in years.
These 10 women had no clue, but they were being used to help me get focused in a major way and God helped me see the power of a well intentioned, “NO!”
Since distractions invade all of our lives and can prevent the best of us from staying focused, I had to big up one thing that I received from the Fasting and Prayer Challenge:
If you really DESIRE to say, “YES!” to that book, that new project, that marriage, to healing that relationship, then you MUST say, “NO!” to those things that threaten you from seeing it through.
Everything and everyone can’t be granted a yes, when you have pressing things to see achieved, done —completed. As I purposely declined the distractions and prayed with these women, I was able to finally finalize my e-Book. Now, look at God!
How have you been able to guard yourself from distractions? Does saying no work for you? Let us know by commenting below.