Tragedy of Distraction
Certainly, man walks about like a mere shadow. Indeed, they frantically rush around in vain, gathering possessions without knowing who will get them. Now, Lord, what do I wait for? My hope is in You.- Psalm 39: 6-7.
I started downstairs, towards the deep freeze, in search of some meat to get out for dinner for the following evening. Instead I found myself gathering the kid’s backpacks left at the bottom of the stairs from earlier that evening. Did the meat come upstairs with me? No. Instead my hands were filled with items needing “repacked” for the next day. The meat stays in the freezer and the next evening meal is built only of vegetables...yet again.
I pick up my phone- full intentions to make a phone call of utter importance. Instead, I find myself scrolling through Facebook- mindlessly- for 5, 10, or was it 15 minutes? Again, not making that phone call- forgetting all about what it was that I had to do…what bill I was supposed to pay…
Just as I think it’s safe to sit down and write, read a book, or get with God…I hear “mom...” or "honey..."calling from the other room…
Sound familiar? My mind is full of fleeting thoughts. “To Do” lists pile up and I forget about daily tasks that used to just come naturally and without much thought. I have tried to be more intentional about my time- but my brain has suddenly been trained to think in seconds rather than in minutes or even hours.
The enemy has found a way to scramble my brain.
And because of this- the tragedy begins-the enemy stakes a claim.
In becoming technology-dependent- what was intended as helpful has allowed me to just “make an appointment” on my phone and just forget about it. What was intended to keep my closer to family and friends as allowed me to sterilize myself of interpersonal communication. A “like” on Facebook is not equivalent to sharing laughter, hugs and memories. A "like" on Facebook does not build character or relationships. A child that was intended to be a part of my life- to nurture- to teach- to love- has now become a distraction in the midst of all these other diversions.
Life becomes stale; disconnected. We become desensitized to the realities of this world.
We forget how to hug without a phone in our hands. We forget how to have conversations with one another without peeking at Facebook. We can’t even have a meal together without phones at the table and discussions revolve around what so-and-so posted earlier that day.
As I reflect on my inability to reflect and try to pry my hand from the grips of distraction, A memory comes to mind of Jesus' visit to Mary and Martha in the book of Luke. Mary dropped everything and sat at Jesus’ feet while Martha allowed distractions to overcome her so she could not enjoy the company of the Lord in her own home!
Luke 10: 38-41 states: “While they were traveling, He (Jesus) entered a village, and a woman named Martha welcomed Him into her home. She had a sister named Mary, who also sat at the Lord’s feet and was listening to what He said. But Martha was distracted by her many tasks, and she came up and asked, “Lord, don’t You care that my sister has left me to serve alone? So tell her to give me a hand.” The Lord answered her, “Martha, Martha, you are worried and upset about many things, but one things is necessary. Mary has made the right choice, and it will not be taken from her.”
What if Martha had her phone in hand, scrolling through Facebook, while Jesus sat in her home? What if Jesus was in my home and I disregarded Him? The reality is- He is in my home every day- in the face of my children, my husband, and visitors.
There is a lot of work to do in our society to get away from distraction and start loving one-another. But we can all start in our home by taking away the daily distractions of technology (or whatever else may be distracting you) and finding a space in time to reconnect with our kids, our husbands or wives, our friends and our God…and not just for a couple of seconds.
We can learn a lot from Mary and Martha- especially when Jesus tells us directly that the tasks and distractions we face each day are in no way more important than a relationship with Him. And if you have a relationship with Jesus, everything else falls into place. A relationship with Jesus is synonymous to treating children like they aren’t distractions, nurturing and loving one another as humans, and perhaps, even, a better long-term memory and vibrant relationships.
I challenge all those who read-this to put down the distractions and choose what matters most. Godspeed and God bless!