I don’t know about you, but for me there seems to be a distraction around every single minute of my day. Some of these distractions are not necessarily bad. For instance, it may be a reminder that I must pick up such and such from the store, or it might be another item on my to do list that needs getting done this instance. Today this kept happening to me over and over again. I was in the middle of my Survey of Biblical Literature reading assignments when an all too familiar growling occurred. I was hungry. Being it was noon, I figured, I might as well take a break and eat something. After eating, I figured I might as well do the dishes that had been left by the morning rush by other members of my household, then walking by the laundry room and seeing a basket of clothes, I remembered that I had started a load of laundry that need to be transferred to the dryer, and the clothes that I had put in the dryer needed to be ironed and put away. So next thing I know, close to an hour has gone by, and I still hadn’t finished my assignment. When I iron, I make lists. Lists of things that I HAVE to do, lists of things that I NEED to do, and lists of things that I WANT to do. The frightening thing of this session was that the HAVE to do list was the longest: homework for my Bible Study was due in 2 days and still wasn’t fully completed, and homework for my counselor training was due tomorrow night and still wasn’t finished! AND! Oh goodness, I thought to myself, my homework from earlier today was still lying on my bed needing to be finished and studied for a test later this week. And oh, I still had to write a paper, work on my massive Biblical Lit project, I wanted to run 3 miles, and finish cutting the squares for my next quilt. I also needed to go to the store to pick up contact solution so I wouldn’t be rendered blind without my contacts, I needed to write emails for work, I wanted to finish a narrative project thats been on hold for a month, I wanted to finish the book that I started reading seven weeks ago, plus the other five that I had bought and hadn’t gotten around to even touching because of lack of time, I needed to register for my summer classes………………..Isn’t life full of distractions?
The thing is none of the above “to dos” are actually bad. In fact, most of them are relatively productive things. However, they are getting in the way of the one thing that I had to do this morning: finish my class assigned reading!
And then I thought about our walk with Christ. How many “important” “productive” “meaningful” things do we put in front of it? We have countless excuses: “well, once work slows down, I will focus more on plugging in at Church.” “I just have so much homework right now that I don’t have time for a Bible study.” “Waking up an hour earlier to do a daily devotional? Are you kidding me? That’s an extra hour of sleep!” “I want to hang out with my friends.” “I just don’t have the time.” “I just have way too many other obligations.” While some of these things are really really important – trust me I know. We need to be reminded daily that Christ is the most important. Christ is the reason we even have any of these things to do. Christ breathed the very breath into our lungs. Christ allows our very heart to beat. Christ gave us the mind to think of all these things that we have, need, and want to do, but so often we put Him on the shelf, and think “Oh, I’ll get to you later, let me just finish these other things first.” One thing after another comes up, and our basket of distractions gets fuller and fuller. One by one, we throw something else in there that we think we should do, or need to do, or have to do, and completely forget about Christ who we have completely left over there on the shelf.
The beautiful thing about Jesus Christ and His love for us is that He doesn’t get impatient with us. Oh no, He lovingly woos us and longs for us to pick Him back up. It is us who are missing out when we take Him out of our lives. Christ wants to be the center of our focus. He doesn’t want to be part of “to do list.” He wants to be our reason for living, but so often we get distracted, and we lose focus so easily, that we completely forget Christ – Christ, the One who actually went to Calvary to shed His blood so that we might have a chance for redemption in this world. Christ should be our reason. Christ should be our focus.
What is distracting you for setting your heart and thoughts on Christ? What is so important that must be done before Him? He wants to be there with you in every step, on every journey, but the question is are you allowing Him to do so? Or have you set Him on the shelf so that you can carry around your basket of distractions? These distractions may not be bad things. However, nothing should come before your relationship with Christ.
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!”
“Martha, Martha,” the Lord answered, “you are worried and upset about many things, but only one thing is needed. Mary has chosen what is better, and it will not be taken away from her.” – Luke 10:38-42