Monday, October 15, 2012

T.M.I. - Too Much Information

Ever have one of those weeks where you know something is wrong, but you just can't put your finger on it? Last week was definitely one of those weeks and it culminated in a frustrating weekend. 

You see, there was a special event for young women at our church and I was anticipating helping with it - only I had to go to class. No problem, I'd just help out when my class was over. Only it didn't work out that way. I blame no one but myself. One thing led to another and in all my confusion, I just missed out. To make matters worse, my daughter had wanted to help but my confusion messed things up for both of us.

I was so frustrated with myself. This was just one more of what seemed like a million events that I missed because of not understanding or missing a deadline or some other ridiculous reason. Too many things were demanding my attention. I was feeling like life was zipping past me and I was always about two beats behind. (If I could just have a full time assistant to tell me where to go and when to be there, I'd be fine!)

By the time I got to church, I was already frustrated. I found a seat in the overflow the back...because my "two beats behind week" had caused us to get to church a bit late. Not good. I usually sit up front - but there was no room. Well, I was willing to go and try to  a couple of seats, but my husband likes sitting in the I remained. 

It didn't take long for my frustration to build. Only those who are ADD understand what this is like. The woman two rows ahead swayed in time to the music so that caught my attention, the young man in front of me had a wrinkle in his shirt - that caught my attention, the ceiling of the overflow cut off the top two lines of the worship chorus so I had to turn and look at the tv monitors on the side which meant I noticed either the swaying lady or the teenager whose friend had just joined her (which of course meant hugs and greetings.) I tried to concentrate - really I did.

Finally we sat down - maybe now I could focus. No such luck. To begin with, I am extremely short which means I cannot see past the people in front of me. I could hear the pastor, but never really could see without twisting and stretching. Then the ushers walked by - distracted again. Some more people came in and tried to find seats - yep....distracted.

I mentioned this to my husband later and he said something along the lines of "Yes, it can be a bit distracting." A BIT distracting???? Seriously? He obviously has no idea what this is like!

Instead of leaving the service refreshed, I left angry at myself, frustrated at not being able to concentrate, and irritated at my husband. Not exactly what I'd hoped for. It had been just another example of the frustration I had been feeling in life.

That afternoon after lunch, I left the house and went to my classroom to organize and prepare for the coming week. I tossed a few papers, rearranged a few things, made needed copies - all in the absolute quiet of an empty building. (Well, almost empty - there were a few fellow teachers working away in their classrooms.) By the time I got home, I felt at least a LITTLE more peaceful.

But it was this morning when I finally got a clue. I was reading a blog by Glynnis Whitwer ( Getting My Focus Back With a Monday Menu) and suddenly it all made sense. While this blog was mostly about a menu, which is pretty yummy sounding I must say, it wasn't the menu that caught my attention. (Yes, something FINALLY caught my attention long enough to break through the fog.) I had simply lost direction. I lost my focus. 

Simple, but not so simple if you are in the midst of it all. I was letting life "happen" to me instead of stopping for a few moments and getting a handle on the week...on the day...sometimes on the hour! Instead I ran from event to event, the house was falling apart, meals were sporadic at best - not good for a diabetic by the way, and my peace was feeling farther and farther away. 

As I thought about it, I was reminded of the plague of gnats that the Egyptians and the Pharaoh had to endure. Have you ever dealt with a bunch of gnats? They may be tiny but they'll make you NUTS! Huge things don't get your attention because all you can concentrate on are those stupid gnats! My life was feeling like a bunch of gnats - and the important parts were slipping away. 

So what to do? Well, first of all I repented for allowing things to get so bad. While I may have missed some opportunities and been cross with my family, it was against GOD that I had sinned. 

Psalm 51:4

The Message (MSG)
4-6 You’re the One I’ve violated, and you’ve seen
    it all, seen the full extent of my evil.
You have all the facts before you;
    whatever you decide about me is fair.
I’ve been out of step with you for a long time,
    in the wrong since before I was born.
What you’re after is truth from the inside out.
    Enter me, then; conceive a new, true life. 

I asked God to please help me focus again. I was reminded of another verse - Proverbs 29:18. The Message version says it this way: "If people can’t see what God is doing, they stumble all over themselves; But when they attend to what he reveals, they are most blessed." 

That pretty much sums things up. I hadn't been taking time time to see what God was doing and as a result, I was stumbling all over myself. Instead of seeing what God was up to, I was busy fighting gnats. I had too much information - just none of it was from God.

So there you have it. T.M.I. and how it stole my peace like a bunch of pesky gnats. Praying that your week is not filled with too much UNIMPORTANT information - but instead that you are able to focus on what is truly important.  

Micah 6:8

The Message (MSG)
But he’s already made it plain how to live, what to do,
    what God is looking for in men and women.
It’s quite simple: Do what is fair and just to your neighbor,
    be compassionate and loyal in your love,
And don’t take yourself too seriously—
    take God seriously.

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