The Roller Coaster Of Distraction – Why you need to stop the ride and get off it.
Do you get distracted easily? I know I do. Being a creative, I find my attention span can sometimes waver onto the more shiner, brighter things that are begging for my attention. This is where our enemy can lure us away from what we’re supposed to be doing and make us waste precious time riding the roller coaster of distraction. If you’ve discovered you’re riding this roller coaster, don’t worry. This post will help you to stop the ride and get off it.
The crazy thing about roller coasters is that after travelling through the many twists and turns of the ride we find ourselves at the exact same spot where we got on. Ever find that with your dream or your purpose? You’ve experienced every steep slope and tight turn the roller coaster has thrown at you. You’ve gone through all the inversions that have left your heart in your mouth, only to discover you’re exactly at the same place where you started?
How could this have happened? The roller coaster of distraction will not only distract you from your dream and your purpose; it will leave you feeling frustrated and mad with yourself because you didn’t reach your intended goal. You’ll find that after all the bright lights and thrills the roller coaster offers, you’re right back where you started, and now you’re more confused than ever. This is why you need to stop the ride and get off that roller coaster of distraction before it hoodwinks you into abandoning your dream altogether.
I have to admit, I found myself on the roller coaster of distraction not so long ago. I was chatting with my friend about how lost and confused I felt in my purpose and calling. All I could see in front of me was a fog. That’s until my friend pointed out that I’d lost myself in the thick haze of distraction. After kicking myself under the table, I was mad because I’d fell for Satan’s cunning tactics. I was mad at myself for not seeing it coming and for being so foolish. You see, that’s the deceptive nature of distraction, you don’t realise you’ve been deceived until it’s too late. When I found I hadn’t made much progression in my purpose and I found myself right back where I started, I knew I’d fell for the bells and whistles of Satan’s sideshow roller coaster of distraction.
As you step forward into your destiny, Satan will scam you one of three ways:
- He’ll con you into thinking that what you’re pursuing is not enough.
- He’ll make you think you have to do EVERYTHING in your own strength and,
- He’ll steal, kill and destroy your confidence.
Why do we fall for his cunning ways so easily? Because Satan’s ‘smoke ‘n mirrors’ trickery has worked since the Garden of Eden, so why would he change his tactics? For a millennium, he has lured people onto his roller coaster of distraction, so they abandon the dream God placed in their hearts completely because of discouragement and distraction which stops them fulfilling their purpose.
So, how does Satan do it? How does he sell the falsehoods that keep us riding on the roller coaster of distraction?
Your enemy will tell you that your dream is not enough.
For years I can see that you’ve dreamed of doing what God placed within your heart, and now you’ve gained some momentum because you’ve become smart and made some choices which are propelling you toward your purpose. This is where Satan switches on the merry-go-round of bells and whistles to bring the roller coaster to your attention. The way he did it with me was he whispered that my dream was not enough. My dream of writing books which will help people know God more deeply felt like it wasn’t enough. The dazzling lights and glitter of something more tempting flattered my ego, to the point where I was spending most of my writing time scouring the internet for every piece of information, I could find about how to do something that wasn’t part of my calling and was sending me in the wrong direction.
For months I had put one foot in front of the other and I had listened to God with my calling. I felt I was walking in the right direction. Nonetheless, without me even realising it, I’d became so distracted by the ‘wow’ factor of the roller coaster, that the adventure God was leading me to felt as though it wasn’t enough. My dream didn’t have the same greatness as the huge, sparkly roller coaster. It didn’t have the thrilling twists and turns that the roller coaster offered me. Like a ‘prowling lion’ my enemy had used my fear of failure against me and dangled something newer, shiner, brighter in front of my eyes until I was completely mesmerized by it all. How willingly I had climbed into that roller coaster of distraction! Only to discover after every twist and turn I found myself in exactly the same place as I started, did I realise what had happened.
If there is one thing, I’ve learned through this experience it’s this; keep your eyes FIXED on Jesus. Joshua 1:7 reminds us not to, ‘…get off track, either left or right, so as to make sure you get to where you’re going.’ And Proverbs 4:27 ‘Keep your eyes straight ahead; ignore all the sideshow distractions. Watch your step, and the road will stretch out smooth before you. Look neither right nor left; leave evil in the dust.’
Your enemy will make sure you’re doing it ALL in your own strength.
Not only does Satan whisper your dream is not enough, he’ll try to assassinate your relationship with God too. Right up until you became deceived by the sideshow distraction Satan has offered, you were walking with God, you were focused on your purpose and you were heading in the right direction. The only reason you got distracted by the roller coaster that led you to nowhere land was because Satan whispered that God cannot be trusted. So, you decided that you’d just have to do it all in your own strength. This required knuckling down, rolling up your sleeves and getting to work. No time for praying, reading your Bible or listening to God. Oh no, you have work to do. Work, work, work, work. However, the roller coaster of emotions that Satan set you on has now left you completely exhausted.
Listen up! Your dream, purpose and destiny are way, way too big for you to take on. This is why you need God’s strength to keep moving along the path. If it’s a God-sized dream, then it’s too huge for you to do EVERYTHING. Don’t be fooled into thinking that God has left you. He hasn’t. He has promised that ‘…He’s right there with you. He won’t let you down; He won’t leave you.’ (Deuteronomy 31:6 MSG) If God is silent it means you need to get out your Bible and start praying. Ask for what you need and then let God take care of the rest. Your job is to just be obedient to the call and put one foot in front of the other.
Satan has one more trick up his very dark sleeve. He’ll make sure your confidence is shaken. He’s set up the hall of mirrors as you walk up the stairs to the roller coaster of distraction, just to make sure you see a distorted image of yourself as you enter the ride. Each mirror he holds up reflects something that isn’t true about you. This assassination on your confidence is an especially cruel trick because Satan whispers that the image reflecting back at you is how God sees you. This scam is designed to make you disoriented and confused, jarring your thoughts which makes you lose your confidence, so you feel you have to get on the roller coaster to become better. However, it just leads you right back to where you started.
Your enemy will steal, kill and destroy your confidence.
I pray that you will come out of that maze of mirrors and see God’s Truth between the competing versions that Satan is showing you. We are all made in GOD’S IMAGE not the images Satan holds up to us. Genesis 1:26 reminds us of how we were made, ‘Now let Us conceive a new creation- humanity – made in Our image, fashioned according to Our likeness.’ We are the only part of God’s creation that is made in God’s image and Satan hates that. Do you know why? Because every time he looks at you, he sees God. He sees his own failed attempt of trying to be like God, so he needs to distort your image. You are made in God’s image which means you remind Satan of his doomed ending. Don’t let him commit a felony on Who’s image you reflect. You are chosen, cherished, valued and loved. God sees you as His child.
So, if you’ve found yourself in the exact same spot as when you got on the roller coaster of distraction, stop the ride and get off – like NOW!
Ask God to forgive you and focus on the path that He has set before you. Don’t fall for Satan’s distractions as you follow the path toward your dreams and purpose. It wastes too much precious time!
Have you found ever yourself on the roller coaster of distraction? How did you manage to get off it?