Friday, September 28, 2012

Finding God in the distractions

Prayer, at its most basic, is our attempt to pay attention to God. It’s not always easy to pay attention, though. In his book, Prayer, Richard Foster tells of a time he and a group of believers were gathered in a home for a time of prayer. As soon as they bowed their heads and closed their eyes, however, a cat began to scratch at the door. Richard notes that no matter how hard he tried, he could not turn his attention away from the cat and back towards God. When the prayer time came to a close, Richard confessed that he hadn’t spent much time in prayer because of the cat. All the other began to laugh and confessed that they too, couldn’t get past the cat. Everyone that is, except for Bill. Bill sat thoughtfully as everyone else chatted away about the cat. Richard noticed Bill’s contemplative posture and after a moment asked him what he was thinking. Bill responded, “Oh, I was just wondering what God wanted to say to us through the cat.”

Try as they may, no one could come up with a message from the cat, except that maybe the message was that sometimes what we think of as a distraction, may be God attempting to get our attention. Our days our filled with distractions. While it is a good thing to find time away from those distractions for solitude and silence before our Maker, it is also true that God can sometimes be found in those things that arrest our attention by force. How we view such things will be determined by how we look. Do we look in annoyance or do we look with a soft heart, one that’s always open to a new message from God?

Today, ask God to help you look at those things, and even more importantly, those people that distract you with a heart that’s open to finding God even in the distractions.


“Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you. For everyone who asks receives; the one who seeks finds; and to the one who knocks, the door will be opened” – Matthew 7:7-8

1 comment: said...

A wiser man than I has noted that distractions in prayer will come we cannot help that, but we may choose what to do with it. When we seize it and dwell on it, we are distracted. Likewise, when we try to reject, ignore or overcome it, we are distracted. It is only when we learn to let it alone, and let the thought pass us by, whether the situation or circumstance remains or goes we are free from the distraction.