Driven to Distraction

The following is from an article in Leadership Journal.  It’s by author and preacher John Ortberg.  Pay special attention to the last line, because it’s the one we need hear, especially if we’re feeling overwhelmed and ineffective.  Perhaps it will help us hear God this morning:

Several weeks ago my wife pulled me into the bedroom, closed the door, and said there were a few things she wanted to talk about. She said she was kind of afraid to bring them up. She had a list.

I was not happy that she had a list.

She began: "When our marriage is at its best, we are sharing it together. We share division of labor stuff. We partner together around the house—our kids see this. We each know and care about details in each other's life and work. To be honest: it feels like that's been slipping. It feels like you have been becoming so preoccupied by all the things you have to do, by all the demands you think are on your shoulders, I'm kind of missing the you I most want." …

She said: "When you are fully present…light, breezy, spontaneous, fun, ready to listen, alive to joy—I love that man. I need that man. I haven't seen that man around much lately."

It took me a couple days to process this talk, because pouting is more or less my spiritual gift, and I had to get that out of my system first.

But I thought about the kind of life she was describing. I know that life.

I started praying. God, I need some help. Ideas started to come. I need some wisdom, some accountability—and I watched God start to bring some of that into my life. I knew I needed either a therapist, a spiritual director, or an executive coach. And I finally landed on the best choice and started moving forward. …

And then, this thought: I can do this. I can set aside the weight of unfinished tasks and unsolved problems when I come home. I can be fully present and alive even though everything around me is not settled down. Each moment I can choose this; I can ask God's help with it.

And it's been like a mini-revival. I find myself thinking, when problems arise, Bring it on. Each problem is, among other things, an opportunity to exercise this muscle, to make it stronger. And if I forget in one moment, I can begin again with God the next.

I've been struck by how this can be done by anyone, anywhere. …