I’ve self-diagnosed myself with post-natal onset ADHD. This is literally what I did on Monday morning:

Went downstairs to prepare kids lunches for school. Grabbed peanut butter and jelly out of the pantry. Noticed dirty dishes on counter. Began rinsing dishes. Opened dishwasher. Realized the dishes were clean. Emptied dishwasher. While putting cups away, saw the time on the clock. Kids needed to be at the bus stop in ten minutes. Stopped emptying dishwasher. Went back to making PB&J sandwiches. Asked kids if homework was done. Got one response, “It still needs to be printed off the computer!” Logged onto computer and hit print. Checked email while waiting. Remembered I wanted to add a funny photo of a deer from our night camera to my replies. Grabbed SD card. Searched for where the SD card inserts into computer. Couldn’t find it. Put SD card aside and closed computer. Went back to making PB&J. Youngest son came downstairs in shorts. It was 35 degrees outside. Sent him back up to find pants. Claimed he couldn’t find any. Looked in laundry room. Pulled clean pair out of dryer. Noticed wrinkled shirts. Shook out wrinkles. Realized kids still don’t have lunch. Quickly threw PB&J sandwiches in baggie and zipped it into kid’s lunch boxes. Hugs and kisses all around. Sent them to the bus.

Distractions. Interruptions. Diversions. There are a lot of things conspiring to keep us from our goal.

It even happens in my writing. I have to keep a post-it on the top of my computer reminding me of my heroine’s goal. That way, the purpose of my story stays at the forefront of my mind and doesn’t wander off down a rabbit trail.

I’ve been doing research on the history of Boston for the setting of my next Beacon Hill, Massachusetts State housemanuscript. Boston rooted itself in Puritanism. John Winthrop, the first governor of the Massachusetts Bay Colony, said, “We shall be as a city upon a hill, the eyes of all the people are upon us.” His words reference Matthew 5:14-16:

 “You are the light of the world. A town built on a hill cannot be hidden. Neither do people light a lamp and put it under a bowl. Instead, they put it on its stand, and it gives light to everyone in the house. In the same way, let your light shine before others, that they may see your good deeds and glorify your Father in heaven.”

These settlers came to establish a place of religious freedom. Where God would be first in their lives, and where they could be an example of charity and Christian values. Yet, churches in other regions of the country now consider the Boston area a mission field. A 2016 Gallop poll found Vermont, Maine, Massachusetts, and Rhode Island as the least religious states in the U.S. based on church attendance and the importance of religion.

How did we get to this point?

We lost our focus. Even with good intentions, if our purpose isn’t at the forefront of our minds, we will lose our way.

“I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus.” Philippians 3:14

Keep your eye on the prize.

Side note: For those of you concerned about New England, here is some hope. I started attending Connect Community Church in 2002, and the average attendance was around two hundred people. In 2017, we have grown to 1,000 and are going strong. Our young adult group, the 508 (which is named after our area code and at one point met in my basement) is now drawing in over 400 college aged kids—on a Friday night! As Pastor Deryck says, we are fighting fulfill our purpose of “emptying hell and populating heaven.”  

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