Don’t get off track, either left or right, so as to make sure you get to where you’re going. And don’t for a minute let this Book of The Revelation be out of mind. Ponder and meditate on it day and night, making sure you practice everything written in it. Then you’ll get where you’re going; then you’ll succeed. Haven’t I commanded you? Strength! Courage! Don’t be timid; don’t get discouraged. God, your God, is with you every step you take. (Joshua 1:9)
Have you had those moments of what I'd like to call "blankness" - those moments when you are going from one room to another, obviously for some reason, but when you get into the next room, you come up 'blank' trying to remember the reason for the journey? I have them more than I probably should admit! Most of the time it is because I 'get off track' - distracted by something else I hear, see, or even smell along the way. There are leaves crunched into the tile at the entryway of the house, so I go get the little broom and dustpan to take care of that problem....now, why was I going to the den when I noticed the leaves? The dryer sends off the friendly tune signaling the clothes are ready to be hung and folded, so I stop to do that....now, why was I headed to the garage before I stopped to fold those clothes? We all could cop to the plea of "blankness" from time to time - I know I am not alone! To 'get off track' is easy at times - to retain focus is far easier than trying to regain it!
I guess this is why God so frequently reminds us about 'staying the course' - not getting off track. He knows our intentions are good, but our heart and mind get bogged down with the crazy stuff of this world that shouldn't have distracted us, but indeed it did. Moses has died, Joshua is being commissioned to take the people of Israel into their promised land, and we find God giving this tender reminder to 'not get off track'. You see, Israel has been wandering around the same territory of ground for about forty years! That is quite some distraction! God tells Joshua to avoid the distractions because they will keep him from realizing the goal. How does he avoid the distractions? He ponders and meditates upon the Word of God - what was referred to in this passage as the Book of the Revelation - the message given to Moses which comprises the first five books of our Bibles. Don't let that escape you - spend time in the Word, let the Word get inside your heart and mind, and you will be 'armed' with the very thing that helps you to avoid the distractions that aim to pull you off course.
The more we realize there is to be intention behind our actions, the more we realize we might just face obstacles to those intended actions. It is inevitable that the obstacles will come - leaves will track in, laundry will need to be folded, but we don't have to abandon the purposeful movement toward another action to embrace the one that seems to be staring us in the face at the moment. I think that is how we get off course so easily - we figure the most 'evident' thing in front of us must be the thing we attend to at that moment. If truth be told, we might just find the thing we purposed to do when faced with the distraction serves a greater purpose than the distracted actions ever do. My dryer will keep circulating those clothes beyond the initial chimes of being done - so no worries there. My feet will likely track in a few more leaves after my walk today, so no worries there, either. Our time in the Word can be stolen away from us by distractions of this sort, but nothing will prepare us more for the day ahead than some purposeful time filling our tanks to the full with his Word, his presence, and his peace. Just sayin!