The Danger of Distractions
Updated: Jan 31, 2021
What’s wrong with a little distraction? We can all use a little distraction from our busy lives. Right? This week I discovered this TV show about this tortured police detective and his struggles with doing the wrong things for the right reasons (and how he justified it) on and off the job. Pretty good show, full of action, stories on relationships, consequences of actions and of course criminal activity. But then I got an uneasy feeling while watching this show. I know how important it is to be careful about what I allow in my senses. I know that what I see and hear can be used to influence my actions and thus my world. But I also believed I could watch a cop show without being influenced to rob a bank or hurt someone. So what was the big deal? I knew something wasn’t right so then I began to feel guilty about watching it, I wish I could say I turned it off but I just couldn’t turn it off until I saw the end of what was going to happen! When I satisfied my curiosity it hit me what the problem was. That show had become a distraction (I watched more than one episode). It took my attention away from what I should have been focusing on. Some would argue that distractions can be good at times. But as humans we tend to allow things to become obsessive if we are not careful. You can even obsess in doing good works to the detriment of those in relationship with you.
We live in a time packed full of distractions. We can hold three or four or more conversations at a time while texting and talking(this is something I personally have not mastered! I am going to drop the ball somewhere!) We can surf the web, look at television and listen to our iPod in one ear. We can be in a relationship, raise a family, work full-time, serve when needed, take care of ourselves physically. Some of us have really mastered multi-tasking. So surely we can handle, even use a little distraction. Right?
Distractions can be sent as a subtle way to steer you in a direction you were never meant to go. Distractions can keep you looking in the past and keep you stuck and hinder your growth. Distractions can be used to kill your dreams, your relationships, your very life.
How do you know when a distraction is hurting you? The answer is: you just know. You feel it. But whether you choose to heed that feeling is a choice. And the more you make the wrong choice the less you feel that feeling. The less you hear that still small voice telling you to go this way, go that way or don’t go there. It’s harder to hear that voice tell you to pay attention to your symptoms something is wrong. You turn around and your kids are grown without you pouring into their spirit your love and wisdom. You look at the person you are in relationship with and you couldn’t be any further apart. You stop feeling uneasy about making the wrong choice. It gets easier and easier. Even when you know better, learn to do better, you don’t. It scares me to think that I could get to the end of my life with huge regrets, because I knew better but never did better.
There is a saying that says when we know better we do better. Well not necessarily. I say that from a place of love not judgement because I’ve been there. Remember I didn’t turn off that TV even though I had an uneasy feeling. But God was gracious enough to take that moment of my making the wrong decision to teach me something about myself. That is why I love Him so, because He loved me first and more. Just as he does you Beloved. Jesus addresses the dangers of distractions in Luke 8:4-15. He tells this story or parable and then loves us enough to explain what it means. It shows the dangers of not allowing what we “know” to penetrate our spirits and influence our actions and ultimately our very lives. Remember our lives our made up of freewill. The choice is always ours. No matter what hardship or hurt we have experienced we always have the choice how to live our lives.
I love the King James version (KJV) of the bible and I always compare every other version to it for accuracy. But after I read my King James version I do read other versions. This passage of scripture is from the Message Bible. It reads more like a story.
Luke 8:4-15 The Message (MSG)
The Story of the Seeds
4-8As they went from town to town, a lot of people joined in and traveled along. He addressed them, using this story: “A farmer went out to sow his seed. Some of it fell on the road; it was tramped down and the birds ate it. Other seed fell in the gravel; it sprouted, but withered because it didn’t have good roots. Other seed fell in the weeds; the weeds grew with it and strangled it. Other seed fell in rich earth and produced a bumper crop. “Are you listening to this? Really listening?”
9His disciples asked, “Why did you tell this story?”
10He said, “You’ve been given insight into God’s kingdom—you know how it works. There are others who need stories. But even with stories some of them aren’t going to get it: Their eyes are open but don’t see a thing, Their ears are open but don’t hear a thing.
11-12“This story is about some of those people. The seed is the Word of God. The seeds on the road are those who hear the Word, but no sooner do they hear it than the Devil snatches it from them so they won’t believe and be saved.
13“The seeds in the gravel are those who hear with enthusiasm, but the enthusiasm doesn’t go very deep. It’s only another fad, and the moment there’s trouble it’s gone.
14“And the seed that fell in the weeds—well, these are the ones who hear, but then the seed is crowded out and nothing comes of it as they go about their lives worrying about tomorrow, making money, and having fun.
15“But the seed in the good earth—these are the good-hearts who seize the Word and hold on no matter what, sticking with it until there’s a harvest.”
I know sometimes we feel like we have our distractions under control. But let’s face it most of the times our distractions have us under control. If this were not so why do we need public service announcements telling us not to text and drive? Yet everyday people are literally losing their lives because of this seemingly little distraction. The enemy counts on our arrogance in the area of distractions. We must be vigilant (watchful) and diligent (persistent, determined) when it comes to anything that is meant to distract us from the path God has for us. The danger, as I said before, is If we continue to disregard that still small voice it will get fainter and fainter. But the good news is love will always guide us in the right direction when our hearts are right to receive. Our love for Christ will make us over rule what we feel like doing and His love for us will guide us back when we don’t. Listen for and heed His voice. “For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.” Jeremiah 29:11 NIV. Amen.
Ms. Wanda GAC