One day, as Jesus and his disciples were traveling, they entered into a village where a woman named Martha lived. She invited Jesus and his followers to her home then immediately went into the kitchen to make food for them.
She was hustling and bustling about making sure the food was made to perfection and setting the table when she noticed her sister, Mary, was not helping in the preparations. Upon looking, she found Mary sitting in the same room as Jesus intently listening to what he had to say.
Out of frustration, she asked Jesus to make Mary help her. In Luke 10:41-42 Jesus says to Martha
“My dear Martha, you are worried and upset over all these details! There is only one thing worth being concerned about. Mary has discovered it, and it will not be taken away from her.”
Martha knew her guests would be tired and hungry from their travels and wanted to be hospitable by providing them with nourishment and a place to rest.
Being a gracious hostess is a good quality to have, but when Martha put all of her focus and attention on this one quality, she became distracted and missed out on spending time with Jesus.
Anything that takes us away from God is a distraction. Like Martha, we may not always realize that our seemingly good deeds or habits can move our focus from God.
I love to read. When I say I love to read, I mean I LOVE to read. I have spent many hours inside the walls of my local library and browsing the shelves at many book stores.
A few years ago, I found myself reading three books at the same time. One was kept at work to read during lunch, and one at home for the evenings. The third book was an audio version which I listened to any time I was driving in the car.
When I wasn’t reading, I was thinking about reading. I could not wait until I could sit in a quiet space to join my fictional friends on their adventures. You may think this was no big deal, but this love of mine had gotten so deep that started to affect my life.
I found myself comparing myself with the characters. They almost always learned a life changing lesson by the end of the book that took them to happily ever after. Oh how I wanted a happily ever after at the end of my book, but my life so dull. At least it seemed that way.
Eventually, God convicted me of my reading. He wanted me to spend time with Him and not with characters in books that were not even real. For the next year, I read only my Bible.
What a difference the removal of this distraction has made. God showed me that there was much happening in my life – exciting things that I am a part of. I am more focused on God and his love for me.
Reading is a good habit but it became a distraction for when my focus on God moved to books. What is the distraction that takes you away from our loving Father?
Colossians 3:2 says
Set your minds on things above, not on earthly things.
Let’s stop what we are doing right now and focus on God, our ever loving father.