Ditch the distractions!

What habit should I give up for Lent? Easy! Whatever is separating me from a real relationship with God. How do I know what that is? Chances are, it is the same habit that interferes with all my relationships – distraction. I do not consciously and maliciously ignore my most sacred relationships – I just take them for granted as I am caught up in other things that seem more compelling at the moment.

If I close my eyes at the end of the day and try to account for my time and attention, it is easy to see why some days feel so blank. I wasted time on stupid stuff while the most important people in my life were right there in the room. Modern life is all about distraction: busyness, control and escape. Which one of these gets the best of you?

I am way too lazy to be a control freak. Busyness is a bit of a problem, but mostly because I tend to go with the flow and it accidentally builds up. But even in the busyness, my biggest temptation is escape. Escaping into my imagination served me well a long, long time ago as a girl with nothing to do in a boring Midwestern town. But this habit persisted even when life got intense and involved, filled with family that needed my undivided attention. Whoops! I was secretly on vacation thinking about something else.

God wants to pour His graces into our hearts so that we can love those people who are right there in the room. A Lenten resolution? How about a little eye contact? How about asking an open-ended question and listening to the answer? How about once per day per person in the household? Graces and people – we have to be available to receive them, right there in the middle of the moment.

I try to remind myself to stay in the present moment. I have even written songs about it. I say a Memorare for this intention every morning. Old habits die hard. How can I have a relationship with anyone divine or mortal if I am constantly off in my own little world? This Lent will be another chance to ditch the distraction and embrace the graces that keep slipping through my hands.

This song is a short meditation on the daily distractions that kill our most sacred relationships. It is from my Everything Changes album. It is called “Don’t Go There”

https://play.spotify.com/album/24VcFWHS0gNLhT5HJ40M2o/1tQ19Sxo1SlLY0BMoJtcmq

Don’t Go There
©2004 Marie Bellet, Ordinary Time Music, ASCAP

Where do they go when people stare
Out into space, unaware
Of life that’s waiting to be shared?
Where do they go, please, don’t go there

Don’t let the water pull you down
Fighting mad and spinning round
Clawing for the higher ground
Don’t let the water pull you down

Don’t go there, stay right here
You don’t need another beer
Another life, another lover
There’s so much here to discover
Don’t go there, stay right here
Don’t flip to another year
Another hour day or minute
Love is now and you are in it

Why must you be so dramatic?
You fill your head with so much static
Clinging to the mildly tragic
Isn’t real life good enough?
Ordinary people stuff
Common but miraculous

So brush you teeth and comb your hair
Go find something clean to wear
Anger, self pity, and despair
Sounds like fun, but don’t go there

Don’t go there, stay right here
It’s all right now, have no fear
Live in every passing minute
Love is now and you are in it
Don’t go there, stay right here
Don’t go there, stay right here

Where do they go when people stare
Out into space, unaware
Of life that’s waiting to be shared?
Where do they go, please, don’t go there

 

 

  Mar 01, 2017

3 comments

Very nice, Marie! I love your music and your wisdom.

Thanks, Linda!

Beautiful reflection Marie. I finally got around the distractions to view your latest blog entry in its final form. I will work on being less busy and preoccupied this Lent.

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