Mind Clutter

I am not sure if I coined that phrase this morning when I sat for my Quiet Time and ended up in a digital conversation on my phone or if it’s a well-known (to everyone else) phrase. Either way I had some thoughts about it.

Like I said, I sat down to read, study and pray and decided to check my phone first. The reason I reasoned to myself was to check if the prayer bulletin I get on Fridays had arrived. Now, let’s be honest here, I know better. Too many shiny things on my screen that come through the night, updates on Facebook, texts, messages. I know better. The best time to have checked would be after I studied, as I started prayer. But no, ten minutes later I was trying to extricate myself from a lovely conversation because time was ticking.

I picked up my journal (where I write God stuff not another distraction :)) and began to write about mind clutter. It’s a big problem for me. As soon as I try to still my mind in pop little things to distract me. As soon as I promise to pray for someone and set my heart to do it right away along come the little things to distract me. Not just prayer, I can be reading a book and suddenly realise I have been staring at the page thinking about something completely different. I guess I just have one of those sort of minds.


That’s fine when it’s a book or a movie, not so fine if I am mid-conversation with someone… but not at all fine if I have an appointment with my Father.

The things I am distracted by aren’t sinful in themselves. A pile of laundry or an unswept floor or a coffee cup or the thought I need to call my mum or a text message from a friend or the thought of something to add to the shopping list or the memory of another book/conversation/movie/thing are not sinful. Neither is it sinful to have those thoughts. Neither is it sinful to get distracted by them and lose a few minutes of prayer time. God’s not an ogre with a stop watch.


I want to pray. I want to read. I want to spend time in His presence. The distractions are just that, things that move my attention off Him and onto other things when I need to be focused on Him. See I just did it then, email popped up and I went and read and then commented on a comment someone had made to my comment. Sin? No not at all but wise? Not so much.

So what to do? Suggestions are welcome but I’ll tell you what I have already thought.

Piece of paper to make reminders so I can put the thought aside (this blog is roughed on a scrap of paper – thank you dear realtors for these lovely free notepads you have delivered to my door).

Remove distractions. I need to decide if having the prayer bulletin is so important I risk spending 10 minutes on my phone. Maybe I print it off and pray through it on Saturday instead.

Be disciplined. Bottom line here, be disciplined. Sometimes it is just simply a temptation that needs to be resisted.

12 Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles. And let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us, fixing our eyes on Jesus, the pioneer and perfecter of faith.

Hebrews 12:1-2a

These things that distract aren’t necessarily sinful – they can be of course but more they can become sin as we wallow in them and forget our true purpose: to know Him and make Him known.


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