By the way…


… D is also for decisions, discernment, and distraction.

Any of you who have been following this blog for awhile know that I struggle with “knowing” if I am making the right decisions in my life. I continually question whether or not I’m in the right place, moving in the right direction, meeting the right people, pursuing the right things, giving my attention to the right goals, and generally, being the right version of Annie.

These are all good questions, and hard questions, and questions worth asking. But. I tend to stress and spiral out of control with these concerns, rather than doing what it is that I should do from the very beginning, which is asking God for discernment. And so in recent weeks, I have devoted myself to the discipline of opening myself up through prayer, and presenting these questions to God. It’s as uncomplicated as that. I tell God exactly what is on my mind, and ask him for direction.

And through a sermon that I recently heard in Kansas City, I was challenged to include the simple prayer, “God, distract me from myself.”

I suspect that the answers to my quest for meaning and purpose lie somewhere within that simple prayer, and that the path might look very different than what I have imagined.


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  1. Annibelle on August 19, 2008 at 9:59 AM

    Mmm… these are constants we all face, believers and nonbelievers alike. But, it’s good to know that we, as Christians, have someone who knows what to do, when to do it, and how to go about getting it done.

    I think all we can do is pray and seek Him in His word (which, sadly, I don’t do in stupidity). And trust that He’s glorified even in the “mistakes” we make, that His hand is at work even when we detour from His original route. “All things work for His glory” [I don’t think that’s verbatim]

    “Lord, distract us from ourselves, our motives, our fears, our objectives, our hopes, our plans, us. Remove us from the focus of our lives so you’ll be at the center.”

    Hey, we should talk about this some when I come down to visit. All signs point to next week being HIGHLY probable! :)

  2. duane on August 19, 2008 at 10:37 AM

    i love the part in that david wilcox song where he says that too often we think that God is like some sort of a game show host – who makes us choose between door number 1 or door number 2. and we live in fear of choosing, thinking that if we choose wrong it will somehow spin our life out of control. so we end up paralyzed and not trusting the God who says ‘i have a plan for you, and no matter how many tough decisions you wrestle with, no matter how much you may second guess yourself, you cant lead your way out of my providence.’

    good news. good news indeed.

  3. Laura on August 19, 2008 at 11:38 AM

    Great sermon! Thanks for posting the link.

  4. Anna Marie Seymour on August 19, 2008 at 11:54 AM

    i’ve been trying to be “distracted from myself”lately,because it seems like the only way to let go and just enjoy this life we’ve been given its so hard not to over-analyze, and it seems that to get into a creative zone,we have to stop thinking too hard and just DO, make, write,do the act of creating without thinking, then stand back and look at it later,edit, fine tune, give thanks…at least for me it works that way.

    I think it’s interesting that in previous posts (last week on your video) you talked about everything being quiet…and that paired with the prayer you are talking about here is pretty interesting…maybe God is giving you quite space to listen for him? or just a quiet space to trust? thats never easy-damn!-but i think often how he works. i find i am most who i am created to be when i trust that mysterious “I am who I am”statement and just do life.
    you know?

  5. bec on August 19, 2008 at 3:53 PM

    ever since that night at church i have written that little prayer in my planner so i can stare at it and be reminded a lot.

    it’s so freaking hard to follow it though.

  6. Ginger on August 19, 2008 at 6:43 PM

    I’m asking some of the same questions in my own life. I’ve been reading “Awaken” by Erwin McManus and was encouraged by the following:

    “If you’re living in a way that honors God and taking great risks in pursuing great dreams, and you fail in the attempt, do you really think God is going to slap you around for that? Of course not. God is going to celebrate your effort. God does not measure success the way we do. We look at winning as the measure of success, whild God looks at whether we lived.”


  7. Terry McNichols on August 20, 2008 at 10:41 AM

    You’re amazing, Annie! I’m even writing about you in my blog, this Friday. Don’t miss it! (Are you nervous?) Do you think your commentors will mind if I steal their quotes for later blogs? You have very well-read friends! I’ve been to Saddleback for a training by Rick Warren and he is an incredibly humble, down-to-earth man of God. Let’s hope the fame doesn’t go to his head.

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