No matter whether your situation involves ants, roaches, water bugs or cicadas, the point is – don’t look down. Look up and dance!

An interesting thing happened to me on the way to manifesting my dreams…I got sidetracked. No, that’s not one-hundred percent true. I got straight up distracted.

When I’m sidetracked, I’m still productive. I shift into multi-task mode; eyes fixed on one spot while my hands and brain operate something elsewhere.

Distraction on the other hand renders me utterly useless. I find myself lost, confused, anxious and edgy. My brain is scattered in multiple directions (nothing new) but my capacity for clarity, prioritization and productivity is well…nil.

So what got me so distracted? What caught me off-guard and got me turned around? I looked down.

See, here’s the thing: when we’re on the rooad to manifesting our dreams we often experience a host of topographical variations and climatic shifts. These aren’t physical experiences but spiritual ones. Sometimes we may find ourselves on dusty desert roads or winding country roads. Sometimes we find ourselves in the murky waters of the marsh, other times we encounter the ferocious chill of an artic winter. 

In each of these environments, these spiritual climates, there exists a different kind of distraction – a pest, that can steal your focus and draw your attention in such a way that you start to misstep, eventually leading to mishaps.

My misstep came as I was venturing out of the desert. I was overcoming a time in my life when I wasn’t bearing much fruit; there wasn’t much going right for me. But like the children of Israel (under Joshua’s leadership), I kept putting one foot in front of the other believing I’d see a Promised Land.
Well, I got to a hill and looked down. I could see the land of milk and honey off in the distance. I knew I’d have to travel through one last valley to get there, but it seemed a small cost for the pay-off I was guaranteed in the end. Except….

While walking through the valley, I spotted a trail of ants. They were tons of them, and they were all headed toward my blessing.

Now, by this point you’ve probably guessed I don’t mean literal ants. I mean things that crop up and threaten to become a problem if not dealt with. Things that could potentially choke the life out of your fruitfulness. Things like health problems, money problems, scheduling conflicts, sleep debilitation (and eventual insomnia), parenting woes, work woes…you name it. these things (according to common sense) are bound to wreck all your hard work if not dealt with.

But see, the funny thing about common sense is that God doesn’t use it. God is the most nonsensical Being ever! He is counterintuitive. He breathed life into dirt and said it was His image…wait, God is a heap of dirt? Nope, but he can bless filth! Whoa! His Word made the heavens and the earth – he spoke to stuff and made it BE! Seriously!

It’s a God like that who you want to handle your affairs. Who you just turn everything over to. It’s a God like that who doesn’t need a lick of help from you to squash ants, kill giants and part seas. You move and He’ll do the rest.

But just like the children of Israel (under Moses’ leadership), I forgot that. And so, I commenced squaching ants. And wouldn’t you know, I got so caught up stomping ants that I lost track of where I was. I stopped doing what had been working for me because I was now too preoccupied with all the messes along my path that I believed were going to keep me from doing what’d been working for me. (Did ya catch that?)

One day, after being in that valley a little longer than I’d intended (and a little longer than I needed to) I decided to reflect and revise. What had been working for me exactly, and how could I commence doing it asap?

You know what the answer was – Dance! Praise! Gratitude! Thanksgiving!

Rather than being problem-oriented and solution-focused, I had been praise-oriented and shout-focused. I’d been dancing and singing my way through the valley…and wouldn’t you know, there were a trail of dead ants behind me I hadn’t noticed before.

In other words, when I stopped trying to squash the ants and just trusted God to order my steps and gave Him praise for what I believed He’d do (even if he hadn’t done it…yet), I was far more productive in squashing those pesky buggers that cropped up CONSISTENTLY and threatened to kill my dreams. By looking down and trying to stomp the ants, I could only address what I saw, but with a God-focus I was squashing stuff I wasn’t even aware of. I was off-setting issues before they could even affect me. I had problems that I didn’t even know were problems until they were already allayed underfoot.

I’m here to share with you that no matter what you’re going through – dance on your distractions.

Maybe you’re in the concrete jungle dealing with roaches that are trying to deplete everything you have, running off in the night with your crumbs, making a nuisance of themselves, and bringing along with them a stigma (mental illness, infertility, unemployment, lack of education, former promiscuity).

Perhaps, you’re in the country, set apart from everyone else. You’ve set aside the alone time to focus on the things of God, but in the quiet you can hear the blaring of the crickets, crows and cicadas. Those things not directly on you, but close enough to distract you; to frustrate you. Perhaps the very thing that originally drew you to that place is now the thing causing you so much burden (perhaps a fast has become a task, maybe praying for others is daunting because you don’t see any change after umpteen years of asking God to get involved). Or suppose like me, you’re in the valley cleaning house, getting your affairs in order, walking around that mountain for the last time, when you see some ants.

No matter whether your situation involves ants, roaches, water bugs or cicadas, the point is – don’t look down. Look up and dance!

Trust God to be God. Keep your eyes on the prize – and on Him. “Who can add anything to his life by worrying?”

This doesn’t mean “don’t work”. I’m not saying “don’t try”. I’m saying don’t consume yourself with tossing cups of water trying to douse fires when you’re being called to build a dam! Your wasting your resources and your energy. You’re gathering the right stuff and doing the wrong thing with it. Quit stomping ants. 

Instead, dance! You’ll smother those tiny sprouts of flame and still have your water in the end. You’ll still have your resources. You’ll still have your energy. You’ll still be refreshed, replenished and ready for more.

So quit looking down and stomping. Look up and dance. Changing your focus (aka changing your mind) will always change your life…make it for the better.

As always, good luck and God bless. In grace and peace.