/Dɪˈstrakʃ(ə)n/ the process of diverting the attention of an individual or group from a desired area of focus and thereby blocking or diminishing the reception of desired information
Distraction takes us off course, it either prevents us from experiencing something God has for us or puts us in the wrong position. Getting back on track from being spiritually distracted isn’t difficult, but usually requires us to get intentional with our time and attention. There is a story l read a few days ago about getting distracted and it really stuck with me so l thought I should share. Sometimes we get distracted by what we see and we forget what we are supposed to do, or where we are meant to be. Here is the story of the little boy:
A boy was sent by his hungry father to urgently buy him food from a restaurant. On his way going, he was in a hurry because of the urgency of the assignment. However, on his way back, he stumbled on where his school mates were playing football. He slowed down, began to watch, gradually slowing down until he finally stopped. He watched for a while and got carried away. He became interested, and his schoolmates beckoned on him, knowing his mastery of the round leather game. He accepted their request and indicated an interest in playing. He was ushered into the pitch.
He left the food in the care of one of the spectators, also a former schoolmate, and entered the pitch. He forgot his assignment completely and played his heart out. He became the man of the match, scored goals, dribbled opponents, created chances, and changed the tide of the entire game in favor of the side he played for. When the game time was over, the owner of the ball picked it up. It was time for everyone to go home; to go back to their parents. *THE GAME WAS OVER!*
Everyone left, and ‘our friend’ remembered for the first time that he was actually sent to buy food by a hungry father. He went to where he kept the food; it was already eaten by goats. “But I kept this food with somebody here”, he lamented. But no one was there to answer him. He picked up the plates, but was no longer happy. All the excitements of the game disappeared, the people clapping for him were all gone, those that invited him and his admirers were all gone, those that carried him up after each goal he scored were all gone, those that passed the ball to him to score were no more on the pitch, the opponents he was struggling to beat were all gone, the ball itself was gone, time was gone too, those selling food were equally gone. He couldn’t go to buy another food even if he had the money.
Regrets took him over; he sluggishly walked home with tears of sorrow and regrets hiding in the dark. When people saw him, they queried why he was crying and hiding in the dark with empty plates. HE LEFT WITH CLEAN EMPTY PLATES FULL OF EXCITEMENTS, BUT RETURNED WITH SAME EMPTY PLATES, NOW STAINED AND FULL OF REGRETS. When passersby asked him, “Why can’t you go home?” He replied, “My father will beat me.” He realized the implications of a wasted time, so sad, so late.
Lessons from the story
- What are you pay attention to? – The boy paid attention to the football game and got attracted to it . If you pay attention to the wrong things you will lose focus. What are you paying attention to? Is it money, pleasures ?Jesus had come over for dinner and there was a number of people doing a number of different things. Martha got distracted by all of the business and wasn’t paying attention to Jesus. Sometimes I think she gets a bad rap, things need to get done. However, she let the business distract her from Jesus who was there in the room.
- Distractions steal time – When you get distract you lose track of time and you won’t realize it until it’s too late
- Distractions present you with a counterfeit – Often right at the point of breakthrough, the enemy will try to distract us with a counterfeit. It will look like the perfect job, the perfect relationship, the perfect outcome or an answer. But all of these things will also involve a compromise, like dating a non-Christian or taking a job that moves you away from what God is doing in your life.
Its not uncommon to get distracted, but it’s important to build habits that keep you in check should you get distracted, such as reading the bible. As you read the bible, it reads you too and convicts your heart.