I’m distracted today…you ever have one of those days? No matter how hard you try, you can’t seem to focus. Life is a blur all around you. With family and friends and work and church and news and life, it’s difficult to concentrate. That’s my day today.
I think this is how Satan gets us best. He gets us distracted – focusing on the little things that don’t really matter in the scheme of things. He gets us to procrastinate (I am REALLY good at that). He turns our focus off of God and relying on Him and helps us focus on ourselves, our worries, our frustrations, our task that we have to get done.
A few times in the New Testament I read about people who get distracted.
The first is a familiar story to many who have heard a sermon or two. It is the story of Mary and Martha when Jesus came to visit. In Luke 10:38-42, Jesus and His followers had been invited to dinner. Martha was busy getting everything ready and preparing the meal, and Mary was sitting at Jesus’ feet listening to him.
Martha became indignant and wanted Jesus to tell Mary to get up and help, but He didn’t. Instead, he taught Martha a lesson on distraction. He said that what Mary was doing was more important – focusing on Jesus.
Focus on Jesus…
It’s hard for us to do that every waking moment of the day, isn’t it. I mean, what about all the other stuff? Are we supposed to just let that all slide?
Another example in the New Testament about distractions is found in Paul’s letter to the Corinthians. In 1 Corinthians 7:32-35, Paul says this:
I would like you to be free from concern. An unmarried man is concerned about the Lord’s affairs—how he can please the Lord. But a married man is concerned about the affairs of this world—how he can please his wife— and his interests are divided. An unmarried woman or virgin is concerned about the Lord’s affairs: Her aim is to be devoted to the Lord in both body and spirit. But a married woman is concerned about the affairs of this world—how she can please her husband. I am saying this for your own good, not to restrict you, but that you may live in a right way in undivided devotion to the Lord.
According to Paul, it would be better for people to remain single so that they are not distracted from their devotion to the Lord. Apparently this apostle knew way back then that people are easily distracted.
Lastly is the story of Peter walking on the water in Matthew 14:22-36.
In this story, Jesus comes walking on the water in the middle of a windstorm on the sea, and His disciples were afraid because they thought He was a ghost. But Peter asks Jesus to confirm that it was Him by allowing Peter to walk on the water to Jesus. So Jesus complies, and Peter begins to walk…on the water.
As Peter is walking, however, he begins to be distracted by the wind and the waves all around him and he takes his eyes off of Jesus. At this point he begins to sink, and all he can say is “Lord, save me.” And Jesus does.
Distractions take many forms. They may involve family members, co-workers, work itself or even Christian duties. While I have been working on this article, I have received numerous phone calls, had several visits in my office, had to write a few emails and have had conversations on Facebook and Twitter. Distractions abound.
But we must not lose our focus. Jesus wants to be the center of our attention. It is when we are focused on ourselves and what WE must do and where WE must go that we lose sight of HIM. He created us, and, according to Jeremiah 29:11, He has great plans for us.
So shouldn’t we trust Him to help us through the storms of life that so violently rage all around us? Shouldn’t we be able to find peace through Jesus in the middle of the chaos?
Jesus isn’t moving…
He’s still right there.
Where are you?