The Cost of Distraction

Mornings have developed a steady routine over the summer. We have found a way to be out the door by 9:30 calmly exiting for whatever our morning plans are. No rush. No stress. It's become easy. I'm so thankful for that.

Get dressed.
Pack a lunch.
Everyone potty.
Put shoes on.
Buckled in the van.

On this particular morning I happily glanced at the dashboard clock after getting the GPS set up for our morning planned at a local sprayground and playground with our homeschool co-op friends and it read 9:27. Awesome!

We drove along and we were set to arrive about ten minutes early, which sounded perfect to me! The kids were being rowdy in the back of the van (which isn't really uncommon) singing and talking loudly. Then they started having screaming matches that were like scratches on a chalkboard to my ears. Unfortunately, screaming in the car is one of the things I can hardly stand.

I got distracted by the chaos. Then I missed the exit on the freeway for our morning plans.

I had never missed this exit before and I assumed it wouldn't be too much of a detour. However, once the GPS recalibrated the trip, it was over 8 miles until the next exit when I could turn around.

I spent the next 8 miles in frustration. Frustration at myself for letting the chaos become a distraction so much so that I missed the exit and would therefore arrive late to our play date, and frustration at the children for being more unruly than normal.

I knew the general vicinity of where we were going because we had been to the park several times before, I pretty much knew where I was headed. The GPS was just a safety precaution. Yet I had become so distracted that my innate directional senses as well as the GPS failed me and I missed my exit. It was utterly frustrating.

I exited the freeway after my 8 miles of shame and as I merged back on towards where I needed to be, I became extremely convicted of my anger and frustration.

As I prayed for forgiveness for how I reacted, something in me changed. Instead of focusing on this temporary setback, I began to wonder what else I have missed in life because I was distracted.

This was an easy situation to see where I had gone wrong, I mean, I literally missed the exit.

Yet many times in life we take a wrong turn and not realize it.

We might be so distracted and living in a survival mode so deep that we aren't really living for the purposes we truly want. Therefore, we might be missing out on a life full of joy and laughter and peace because we are so distracted by the seemingly-urgent yet not-important tasks that plague our days.

THIS is why I want to live on purpose.

I don't want to just live my life and see where each turn takes me. 

I want to intentionally travel through this world with a definitive purpose for God's Kingdom and the good of those around me. I cannot possibly do that while letting meaningless distractions divert my focus.

I arrived about 10 minutes late to play group because of my distraction and missed exit, it went mostly unnoticed. Yet, in respect to my life, it's not worth the wrong turns to end up somewhere I don't want to be. I must wake up and live with purpose.

*I'm going to finish this story later this week and share about a conversation that happened at the play date once we arrived that has since helped me remember the "how" to living intentionally. Until then...

Do you find yourself distracted and easily losing focus on what is truly important? Have you found any ways to combat this day-to-day?

Note: This is a post from my former blog that I wanted to share with you. I hope you enjoyed it!

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