Then I pray to you, O Lord. I say, “You are my place of refuge. You are all I really want in life.” (Psalm 142:5)
Relate: There was a time where I decided to become a mall walker. I don’t know if this happens in all malls or only in the one near me, but there is quite a few people, mostly senior citizens, who will show up at the mall a couple hours before most stores open to walk laps around the inside perimeter. Most of these, once the stores start opening will find their way to Arby’s where they will have their coffees and fellowship before continuing with their day. These walkers probably thought I was pretty lazy and slow. I would bring my Bible with me and read a bit then do a lap while praying, sit down and read a bit more then pray another lap. These older folk were passing by this young buck left and right.
I stopped doing it because there were too many distractions. I’m trying to pray but as I pass by lids my ADD would be telling me I really need a new hat. I’d pass by Bath and Body Works and wonder how much hand sanitizer I have left. Rounding Pac Sun… those sunglasses look nice. Coming up on Gamestop I’d remember that my version of football for the playstation is now 2 years old. One end of the mall has JC Penny. There’s a hole in one of my socks, I should really stop in there when I’m done.
React: I often like to go somewhere else when I pray but the mall isn’t a good place for me. It may be climate controlled but it certainly isn’t environment controlled. I didn’t realize how little I had until I started looking at all this other “stuff”. Maybe I’m just too much of an impulse shopper but I’ve come to realize that whatever I focus on is what I think I need.
Once I realized that fact, it has become an easy way to check where I am at spiritually. If it seems that my passion, my desire for God is waning then I am probably not keeping up with my spiritual disciplines. If I’m not reading my Bible or spending time in prayer as I should be, my desire for more of God wanes. Where I’ve been spending my time is where my mind and heart will dwell. As AW Tozer has said, “If I narrow my interests, God will enlarge my heart.”
God, it is so easy for distractions, for “stuff”, to invade even my time with You. It is so easy for the things of this life to pull me off of the path I long to walk with You. I am so easily distracted. Give me the discipline to focus only on You. You are all I want. You are all I need. Let the things of this life that clamor for my attention, that tug at my heart, to lose their grip until I can truly, honestly say that You are my everything.