All too often, just when we get started on some particular task, we become distracted. It’s not that we don’t want to complete “the job” we’re doing but interferences do come our way which cause us to lay aside our current plan of action and work on something else. Webster defines a distraction as being something that draws our minds in another direction than that which has occupied us. Distractions can be confusing or cause undue personal stress—if we let them.
There is a danger if we allow the distractions of the world to interfere with our Christian values. As we listen to the TV ads that attempt to convince us that our lives aren’t totally complete without certain products they are promoting we could” buy” into that type of materialistic mentality of greed and lust. When we view advertisements of programs that promote non-Christian values we could adopt an attitude that since those programs are so popular we should join the others in our culture who are not offended by the morals displayed in the content. Stay alert for we are in a battle for the control of our hearts and minds and it takes real fortitude and deeply rooted Christian character to stand firmly in opposition to these issues.
Other than turning off our TV set what are ways to deal with distractions? Regular attendance at the worship services that are provided by our churches help us to set aside worldly distractions and enjoy the fellowship of others. Participation in these worship services and other church activities, such as Bible studies, with other Christians help us to develop meaningful relationships as we become more Christ like.
It is also good to participate in inspirational activities by listening to Christian music, reading materials, and group events. The Gideons, Promise Keepers, and Women of Faith, to name a few, are not centered upon a denominational factor but unite all Christians who accept the salvation offered to us by the unconditional love and forgiveness of God.
So we are properly prepared for our battle against evil it is important for us to establish a routine of daily prayer and scripture reading. This practice makes it possible for us to shut out the world and focus completely upon the presence of
God in our lives. When we commit to this time of intentional connection and communication with God the power of the Holy Spirit enables us to sift through distractions and know which are given to us by the world and so are road blocks to our faith and those that will nurture our spiritual growth on our way to eternal life with Christ.
Distractions can be a blessing in disguise as they provide us with an opportunity to share God’s love with another person. Just when I think I have my day all planned out I am reminded, by distractions, of God’s greater plan for me to be in a loving, compassionate relationship with others. (Matthew 22:37-39)
“We wait in hope for the Lord; He is our help and our shield. In Him our hearts rejoice, for we trust in His Holy Name. May Your unfailing love rest upon us, O Lord, even as we put our hope in You.” Psalm 33:20-22
Enjoy God’s blessings!
The writer is the pastor of Pastoral Care & Visitation at the Sidney First United Methodist Church.