Wednesday, May 27, 2009


I want to confess something. Believe it or not, I am easily distracted. (Those who know me are smiling, rolling their eyes, and uttering "Duh!") I would like to think that I have undiagnosed Attention Deficit Disorder, but I realize the problem is likely linked to something far simpler; my life is just busy.

As I think through my typical day I realize that I have a lot on my plate. Running a growing ministry, raising a large family, fulfilling church responsibilities, helping coach baseball, and maintaining a home can quickly fill a schedule. In addition we have the challenges of caring for three special needs children which includes a barrage of doctors appointments, therapy appointments, exercises, stretches, and catheters. And this list doesn't include the special events (one daughter's ballet recital tonight, two daughters graduating from high school, and a large graduation party this Saturday). The list could go on, but I'm going to stop. It's making me tired just thinking about it!

As I look at my "list of life" I can honestly say it is all good uses of my time. In fact, very little would even be considered negotiable. I love my family, my ministry, and my church, and all of these events and resposibilities revolve around this triad of life. Each of these causes are important and a part of God's call on my life. But each of these things can become a distraction.

If I am not careful I can find the busyness of my life becoming a cocoon which prevents me from seeing beyond my own little world. I can forget the truth that a child is dying every four seconds from a poverty related death. I can forget that there are 143 million children who live without a family. I can forget that right now there is a hospital full of children in Guatemala who are being placed back in their cribs for another 20 hour stretch. And I can forget that I have been called by my Savior to do something about it.

It is ironic that I can sometimes find myself working long hours running a ministry to care for and find homes for orphans while not once thinking about the children. E-mails, correspondence, phone calls, meetings, and traveling that keeps me so busy I don't have time to stop and think about the reason for it all. As I write this I feel ashamed.

When I was last in Guatemala I purchased an inexpensive cross necklace to wear. It was handmade and beautiful in a simple way, and I wanted it to remind me to pray for the children of Hermano Pedro. My plan was that each time I put it on, took it off, or simply felt it around my neck I would think of them and pray for them. I realize as I sit here typing that I quickly threw it on this morning and rushed to my office without once thinking of them. I was running to do a long list of "important" things and missed something that was very important.

So, what's the answer? I am starting to get a glimpse of both the problem and its a solution. You see, the core of the issue is not that I get distracted from the needs of the world, but that I get distracted from my passionate pursuit of Jesus. The center of what I do is not raising a family or running a ministry. It is not adoption, coaching, or ministry trips. It is not ballet recitals or graduation parties. And it is not caring for the needs of the world. The center of who I am and what I do is Jesus. And the highest calling I have is to know and love Him.

And when I strip away the distractions long enough to see Him clearly and love Him passionately I find that my passion grows for the things for which He cares. And when that happens, not only do I find myself not forgetting the needs that break His heart, but I also find myself living my "life list" with a sense of purpose and fulfillment.

So, right now I give thanks for a loving and merciful God who allows me to start anew. And after I spend some time alone with Him I will take off my cross and put it on again. And this time I will do it right.