This is Part 4 of Holy Habits for Headspace – read about it here.
If you’re staying in the moment, the stream, and the Word, you might be thinking about your life and the main thing of the moment. The thing that calls and compels you. The thing you know is God’s thing for you in this season. The thing that’s most easily and most often threatened by distractions.
Nehemiah had a thing to do. A man whose secular vocation and connections gave him the skills set to unite and mobilise his people, spiritually and politically, against Persian opposition. The mission: rebuild the walls of Jerusalem. He was humble. He really was just building a wall not building a CV. He traded an influential spot in the palace for a hardhat. He knew that God was his promoter and he was excited about doing God’s will for God’s glory.
And so there were distractions.
Some guys who didn’t like what Nehemiah was doing invited him, like, for drinks in the nearby village. He knew they were out to get him. They didn’t want him to finish the work. So he sent messengers to them saying, ‘I am doing a great work and I cannot come down. Why should the work stop while I leave it and come down to you?’ (Nehemiah 6:3)
Probably you don’t have Persians waiting in the shadows with flick knives. In fact probably most of your distractions don’t come with any malicious intent and you certainly shouldn’t be aggressive or impolite in your refusals, as (I think?) Nehemiah kind of had to be. Your interruptions are probably just life happening. Like shopping and dentist appointments and coffee and car services and long text conversations and internet banking. Things that maybe you don’t have to say yes to every time. Or things that can wait while you work on the wall.
I guess the thing is to decide what the thing is. What’s your wall? Maybe it’s staying on the carpet a full half hour while the small giggling people climb and drool. Maybe it’s the chapter you’ve been meaning to finish. That online course. The weekly date you’ve been promising each other while the diary insidiously fills up. That awkward email you know you need to send. Maybe it’s to shut out the crush of the world just a bit because you’re about to have a baby and you’re preparing a nest and your heart.
Know what the work is. And stay on the wall. Block out some time and some distractions. Because it’s ok, sometimes, to say,
I am doing a great work and I cannot come down.
Even if people think your great work is lame or inconsequential. Whatever your calling is in the season you find yourself – corporate-ladder-climbing or cookie-baking – let your hands do the work of the moment. Do it fully. ‘Live to the edge of your boundaries in the season you are in.’ (Pam Ferreira)
What keeps you from building your wall?