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Are You Distracted?

Posted by on in Weekly Encouragement Notes
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Our spiritual journey is vitally important in the grand scheme of life. Often this fact is overlooked and many times just completely ignored. I seek every time I stand behind the pulpit or put a pen to paper, I seek to find the words that will not only challenge, but plant the seeds of growth.  


The word distract means: 


to draw away or divert, as the mind or attention 


to separate or divide by dissension or strife.


We are surrounded by distractions all the time. It may be a noise, it may be a voice, it may be a crowd or whatever the case, but there is always something or someone trying to get our attention. While at times this is totally innocent, there are other times it is agenda driven. In other words, if I can get your attention off of something important, then that something important is delayed or possibly stopped. Who benefits the most from such a thing? The one doing the distracting, right? 


In the world this can have all kinds of pictures painted to give the illustration as to what distraction looks like. It can be from serious to silly, but the reality remains that it is there. We move this to the spiritual realm and find very little difference. Many are going through life and something nags at them about finding peace or learning who God really is or some type of spiritual pursuit. Then the distraction comes. Life gets busier, marriage, kids, jobs, health, issues and the list goes on and on. Whether all of these come at once or simply trickle in from time to time, the fact remains that they are there and the pursuit of the subject one is seeking gets pushed back a little more. 


As this age of communication continues to grow, the strange part of it seems to be that people actually talk to each other less and less. Certainly text and email maintain enormous levels of participation, but actual conversations seem to be on the decline. Another level of distraction. It is simply easier to send a short text than dial the number and have to engage in a conversation. We have all become guilty of this. How does this apply to my point? It is simply this: we have become to busy to stop and see where we are.


Most can tell you where they are physically located at the moment of being questioned about it. However, nowhere close to the same amount of people could tell you where they are going as it pertains to their spiritual destination. “Oh, but Pastor, this is such a personal matter, such things need to be private.” Indeed how one worships is their business and there are elements that are personal and in some cases private. But, what I am speaking of it clarity and certainty. If one knows, has a very clear answer,  then speaking about it or sharing it is not a problem.  


Why is this an issue? Why am I writing about it? I am speaking of people chasing others with the Bible or shouting from the street corner that everyone is going to Hell? Of course not, but what I am speaking of is how this topic is still relevant, but distractions keep it really far down the list or in some cases not on the list at all. We were recently watching a television show and there was a story that involved a person learning that they have cancer. They were now, for the first time in their lives, stopping to consider what is next.


For some this seems morbid, for some this topic is off limits. However, why does it seems that we prepare for everything else but not the most important decision ever? We save and plan and prepare for a vacation. We go to school, spend hours of training for a specific job. We date and spend time with one we prepare to marry and have a life with. We set goals, we make resolutions, we prepare for the things we have a strong desire about, but rarely do we ever hear of one preparing their souls. Again, some would say that this is just the preacher in me coming out, but honestly that has very little to do with it. 


The absolute fact is that death is real. In fact, very often when I am conducting a funeral or memorial service, I draw attention to this fact. I have many times said: this is the most real moment of your life, witnessing that death is very real. I am not looking at the morbid or dreary side of this, but rather seeking the notion that we prepare or attempt to prepare for so many things in life, but we see that so few are prepared for the end. The reason more often than not is distractions. Again, in this show, the professional man who now must face the reality of cancer, he is seeking answers from those who can guide him and help him to face this truth. He is also showing that along the way, career, family, life, all of these, have guided his directions and the idea of the next level has truly never crossed his mind. 


I can remember such a time in my life. Focus on getting ahead, focus on trying to make it, to survive the trials of life, these are where my mind was at. While most of those items are still there, I can now actually give them proper attention because I have settled the other issue. I now know without any doubts as it pertains to my eternity. As the hymn writer would pen: the old account is settled. When we think of it that way we begin to see that when something is taken care of, when it is no longer a lingering matter, then we can properly move on to something else. 


Distractions are keeping many from seeing what is around them and very often a form of blindness begins to set in. It is not that they cannot actually see, but rather the refusal to see has taken over. My prayer for us all is that as the days ahead unfold, that our focus be clear, our direction be obvious and our purpose actually have purpose. May we literally show Christ in all that we offer and do. May we allow others to see that finding the answer to the biggest question of all (what is next) actually helps life now be a little easier to maneuver. 


Have a blessed week


Pastor Andy

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