Jules, relaxing in the sunlight, an undistracted moment.
The other night we watched our dog Jules chase the shadows in the setting sun streaming from the dining room windows. Jules is fascinated with light and shadows, distracted from everything else going on in the room.
Every morning Jules meets me at the bathroom door as soon as she hears me open the drawer that holds my makeup mirror. She’s ready for the show of light reflected from either the window or the sink’s overhead lamps onto the mirror and then onto the door, walls, and floor. She sits patiently while I finish doing my hair and makeup, but as soon as I pick up the mirror, she’s alert.
When Jules is focused on light and shadows, nothing else distracts her. She’s intent on getting the best show. Our connection is that I’m also easily distracted when at work – writing or cleaning house. Whenever Jules sees light and shadows, that distracts her from whatever she was doing at the time. Whenever I see a You Tube post or an Instagram notice, I’m distracted from my work and want to watch, for entertainment sake. And generally one photo on a friend’s Facebook page leads me to another and more. I know I should get back to work, but the distraction is more appealing. It’s shear discipline to continue what I’m supposed to be doing.
In a blog post last May, I wrote about being “distracted or dedicated.” My closing paragraph included the following: So I’m back to that ugly word “discipline.” It’s a matter of being dedicated to the best even when I enjoy something good.
Jules and I get distracted, but she also teaches me about the importance of focus – sticking to something without being pulled away by what at the time is less important yet entertaining. That links me to what the apostle Paul had to say about focus: “looking forward to what lies ahead, I press on to reach the end of the race” (Phil. 3:13, NLT). I join with Mary DeMuth who prayed: “Jesus, enable me to focus on the things that really matter in light of eternity…to finish well.” (Jesus Every Day).