(Cindy is a sister in Christ, I have known her for a few years now and enjoy her monthly letters of encouragement. I wanted to share July’s letter. if you’re interested in receiving her monthly letters, leave a comment. Thank you Cindy!)
By Cindy Coffin
A distraction is shifting our attention from something of greater importance to something of lesser importance and often there are consequences to our actions.
I started thinking about this the other day while I was driving. I got a text message notification. I try to keep my phone in my purse while in the car so I don’t get tempted to see who is sending me a message but I noticed that I really wanted to know. It bothers me when people drive while talking or texting but I understand the pull to do so.
That’s the same thing the enemy does to us. He tempts us with little distractions we think of as unimportant but can have serious consequences. Little things that go unnoticed (like binge watching your favorite TV series), things that are enjoyable (good food, tasty desserts, a glass of wine or a special relationship) and even things that are a little naughty (flirting with a co-worker or a risqué joke).
Just like when we talk or text on a cell phone – whether it’s hands free or hand held – we lose our focus. We aren’t giving our full attention to what is most important – the safety of others as well as ourselves. We take our eyes off the road and our hands from the steering wheel. 1 Peter 5:8 says “Stay alert! Watch out for your great enemy, the devil. He prowls around like a roaring lion, looking for someone to devour.” Life today seems to be caught up with technology to the point it is taking over an enormous portion of our time. We can’t leave home without our phone for fear of missing something. In fact it’s more than a phone, it’s a “smart” phone – or is it really?
We use it to keep track of almost every minute of our busy schedules, check social media, talk to friends, send text messages, read emails, browse the internet, play video games, shop for whatever we might need or want and so much more. It can be exhausting. And therein lies part of the problem – at least for me. I can get so caught up in other things that I forget to spend time doing what is most important – spending quiet time with the Lord. Don’t get me wrong. Not all distractions are bad. Sometimes we need to let loose and relax but we need to do all things in moderation
When we are regularly distracted by something, we need to stop and notice what it is that captures our attention. By doing this, we can see what’s important to us. Distractions can reveal what we love doing the most. But we also need to live in the real world. When we choose distractions over necessities it means we have less time to spend on the things that are most important and should take priority.
Time is such a precious commodity and every minute we use is a minute that we can never get back. We need to spend every precious moment we have in ways that will benefit not only us but others and God. We need to be wise stewards of our time.
Ephesians 5:16-18 tells us to “Make the most of every opportunity in these evil days. Don’t act thoughtlessly, but understand what the Lord wants you to do…. Instead, be filled with the Holy Spirit.”
Here’s a radical thought. Why not unplug from your busy schedule, turn off your phone, your computer and the TV for a whole day and spend time in God’s Word? How about having a sit down dinner with your family and talk about the events of the day? You might be surprised how open communication can build healthy relationships. Why not take a walk, play a game or just immerse yourself in the beauty all around you?
Psalm 139:23-24 directs us to “Search me, O God, and know my heart, test me and know my anxious thoughts. Point out anything in me that offends you, and lead me along the path of everlasting life.”
Remember God loves you and wants the best for you but you need to meet Him halfway. Spend time building a intimate, personal relationship with Him, talk to Him and share your deepest thoughts, trust Him in all things and never, never take your focus from the One who loves you the most.
God Bless You