Monday, August 1, 2011

Bouncing ping pong balls in church

There I was standing in worship and the thoughts were bouncing around in my head like ping-pong balls. For anyone who doesn't have at least a little ADD, you have no idea what this is like. (Pretty sure my sweet husband, patient man that he is, does NOT suffer from this. He doesn't like to try to do two things at once, yet he's been patient with me for over 30 years!)
Anyway, back to worship....see how my thoughts take a tangent! I stood there in worship and my mind was going a hundred miles an hour. School starts back this week and my room isn't ready, I have a presentation to make, the curriculum is changing, I need to go to the grocery store, I need to make sure the kids' uniforms are ready, I have to plan what I will wear, how will I fit in exercise in all this, we need a new bulletin board in the hallway, I need to print back to school letters.....the list goes on and on. I was singing the words of the song, at least I think I was, but my mind was a million miles away.

Somehow through all this cloud of gnat-like thoughts I heard a call, a reminder of sorts. "Donna, you are worried about many things, but only one thing is needed. Choose the better thing."

Now for those of us who do deal with ping-pong ball thoughts, you will understand how that simple sentence brings hope and at the same time it's a bit like trying to catch ONE gnat in the midst of millions. One thing is needed....I know that. BUT I've got all this that....oops. There comes that BIG BUT trying to steer me in the wrong direction again, or worse - immobilize me! One thing. I know I'll do much better if I focus on one thing. Really? I have to pick just one?

I also keep hearing the line from Kung Fu Panda - FOCUS Padawan, FOCUS! (At least I think that's where I heard that quote!) If I can just keep my focus....that is so hard for someone like me.

The one thing is, of course, Jesus - God's Word. If I can/will focus on this one thing, the rest will fall into place. There is an object lesson we used to use in children's ministry where you put a bunch of small rocks and sand in a jar and then try to put in one big rock....of course it doesn't fit. However, if you will first put in the BIG rock, then all the smaller rocks + sand + water will easily fit! When we put in the big things first, the smaller things just seem to fall into place. I know that, but the thoughts continue to buzz around in my head! Then I remember the sheep.

I read once that sheep have a problem with bugs getting in their ears. I can imagine the buzzing is incessant and more than a little irritating - sort of like my thoughts! The shepherd will take oil and pour it on their stinky sheep heads to help keep the bugs out. Those bugs can't live in the oil. That's what I need....I need the Lord to "annoint my head with oil". Of course I don't mean that I'm going to go and stick my head in a big bowl of oil - I have enough trouble with my hair without doing THAT! But I do need the oil of the Holy Spirit to pour through my head and kill off those distracting thoughts that keep me from focusing. That probably means I'll need to get still long enough for the shepherd to pour.

After a short but lazy summer, trying to focus in the whirlwind of back to school is tough! Still, I know it is not only the key to surviving, but thriving. I've got to get still, put the big rock in first, allow the Good Shepherd to annoint my head with oil....and focus. Maybe then the ping pong balls will stop bouncing long enough for me to hear from God and find peace!

Luke 10: 38-42 (Message) "As they continued their travel, Jesus entered a village. A woman by the name of Martha welcomed him and made him feel quite at home. She had a sister, Mary, who sat before the Master, hanging on every word he said. But Martha was pulled away by all she had to do in the kitchen. Later, she stepped in, interrupting them. "Master, don't you care that my sister has abandoned the kitchen to me? Tell her to lend me a hand." The Master said, "Martha, dear Martha, you're fussing far too much and getting yourself worked up over nothing. One thing only is essential, and Mary has chosen it—it's the main course, and won't be taken from her."

Matthew 6:33 "But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well."

Psalm 23 "The LORD is my shepherd, I lack nothing.  He makes me lie down in green pastures, he leads me beside quiet waters,  he refreshes my soul. He guides me along the right paths for his name’s sake. Even though I walk through the darkest valley, I will fear no evil, for you are with me; your rod and your staff, they comfort me. You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies. You anoint my head with oil; my cup overflows. Surely your goodness and love will follow me all the days of my life, and I will dwell in the house of the LORD forever."

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