When I think about distractions from a Biblical context, stories like Peter’s feeble attempt to walk on water (Matthew 14:22-33) and Martha’s dinner mishap come to mind (Luke 10:38-42). Both reveal the importance of staying focused on God and trusting that through your attention to Him, all else will be accomplished. If we closely examine both characters, we find that they each had a specific concern that stole their attention away from God. Peter was worried about his safety and Martha was preoccupied with pleasing Jesus by preparing Him the perfect meal. What are you concerned with?
A few mornings ago, I woke up intent on beginning my meditation, prayer, Bible study, and journaling routine only to find that I couldn’t easily stream my music because our WiFi was glitching. Annoyed, I located our router and attempted to solve the issue myself. After unplugging the connectivity cable, pressing all the buttons, and initiating an internal reset at no avail, I got comfortable on the floor, cringing at the thought that I’d probably spend the next thirty minutes to an hour on the phone with Comcast. Thirty minutes to an hour that I could be spending doing homework, folding clothes, or meal prepping for dinner. See what happened there? – suddenly my plan to meditate had evaporated and I was knee-deep in a task, all the while thinking about everything else I had to do afterward. DISTRACTIONS. Luckily, my Spidey sense began to tingle and I quickly realized what the devil was trying to do – steal my morning so he could steal my day!
It’s a shame that we have to do this y’all, but we gotta’ be on guard! 1 Peter 5:8 (NIV) says “Be alert and of sober mind. Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour.” That’s right, all throughout the day, he’s on creep mode in search of ways to catch you slippin’! But not to worry! – with a little vigilance and introspection, you’re capable of beating him at his own game. Below, I’ve come up with four questions you can ask yourself each time satan tries to grab your attention (which will happen in the form of something that distresses you) , to prevent yourself from becoming fully distracted.
- What’s bothering me? (in my case, the WiFi doesn’t work)
- What am I tempted to do because of it? (in my case, call Comcast)
- What would I be doing if I didn’t have to do this? (in my case, my morning routine of meditating, praying, reading the Bible, and journaling)
- Is what I would be doing something that the devil would be happy about me doing? Because he hates productivity and growth, the answer’s always NO!
Chances are, realizing you’re being manipulated by a pissant will make you change your tune and ignore the urge to become distracted r e a l quick! If it doesn’t work the first time though, keep trying. Giving in to distraction can become a habit and habits take repeated effort to break.
Oh yeah, if you’re wondering what happened with our WiFi – I opted to do my routine before calling Comcast and by the time I got done, it had started working again on its own. See man…