Distractions that keep us from God

I once ran after a float during a parade. I was not supposed to be on the float. I wasn’t even supposed to be in the parade. But hundreds of people saw me that day Chasing after it.

I was actually part of the crowd enjoying the parade with my family. And I was a small child.

There was a lot going on that day - floats, marching bands, and people wearing costumes. A child can only focus on so much at one time.

My eyes widened when candy shot out from one of the floats and landed near me. My mom said that it was for me. In my few years of life, I had never experienced anything like it. My short attention-spanned brain became focused on one thing - getting more candy.

One minute I was beside my parents and the next, I was drifting down the street beside that float in a parade.

Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will. - Romans 12:2

There are many things in life that distract us - work, technology, and television. And they are not bad for us. But we do enter a dangerous area when we spend more time with distractions than we do with God.

As Jesus and his disciples were on their way, he came to a village where a woman named Martha opened her home to him. She had a sister called Mary, who sat at the Lord’s feet listening to what he said. But Martha was distracted by all the preparations that had to be made. She came to him and asked, “Lord, don’t you care that my sister has left me to do the work by myself? Tell her to help me!” - Luke 10:38-40

Martha was a great hostess. She wanted her guests to be comfortable and worked to make it happen. Her preparations had become her distraction, and she missed out on what Jesus had to teach.

“Martha, Martha,” the Lord answered, “you are worried and upset about many things, but few things are needed—or indeed only one. Mary has chosen what is better, and it will not be taken away from her.” Luke 10:41-42

Martha’s sister, Mary, knew the importance of listening to Jesus. She did not let anything else distract her. In fact, she sat right in front of him, eager to learn. Martha had good intentions, and she did love Jesus. But she did let distractions keep her from hearing what Jesus had to say.

Distractions are all around us. For me, it is books. Reading is my thing - both fiction and non-fiction. I pack more books than clothes when preparing for vacation. The books themselves are not bad. But they are a distraction for me.

A few years ago, I read over 100 books in one year. At the end of the year, God nudged me. I was reading too much and not focusing enough on him. I’ve since then hit the breaks. Yes, I still read, but not nearly as much. And I make sure that my reading is more focused on the Bible.

I no longer let candy-throwing floats distract me. I’m not sure how long I ran after the float that day. But my dad did. He immediately chased after me, scooped me up, and took me back to our family.

What is your distraction? How have you handled it?

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