Spiritual Housecleaning: Distraction

Do you have any idea how many unfinished projects I have around my house? No? Me either. There's too many to count. I have good intentions, but I'm easily distracted. There seems to always be something else that needs to be done. For example, I've been bombarded by distraction after distraction just this morning. I sat down at my computer like a good girl, ready to get my blog posts done. Oh, I need to check my email. Well, what's this? Ooh! Look at that. I need to check that out. Let me look into that. I need to respond to this one, or I'll forget. Two hours later, I find myself still sitting in front of the computer. I've gotten a lot accomplished, but none of it had anything to do with my initial goal: to write my blog posts.

In the world we live in, distraction has become inevitable. With computers, television, cell phones, radios, playstations, cars, books, etc., there's simply no end to distraction. As if that weren't bad enough, our own minds constantly distract us from our immediate tasks. What are we going to have for dinner? Did I put the laundry in the dryer? I wonder what time my hubby will get home tonight? I need to pay the bills. Hmm, is there any money in the bank account? Should I get another job? On and on it goes.

I believe distraction is one of the devil's most valuable weapons. With just this one weapon, he can get us to stop doing the work of the Lord, not because we don't want to serve, but because we're too distracted to notice that we're not serving. While we're quietly trying to go about the Lord's work, Satan is sending flashing neon signs to draw our attention away from our true goals. With most of us, it works like a charm every time. We're so gullible!

There is a story involving Yogi Berra, the well-known catcher for the New York Yankees, and Hank Aaron, who at that time was the chief power hitter for the Milwaukee Braves. The teams were playing in the World Series, and as usual Yogi was keeping up his ceaseless chatter, intended to pep up his teammates on the one hand, and distract the Milwaukee batters on the other. As Aaron came to the plate, Yogi tried to distract him by saying, “Henry, you’re holding the bat wrong. You’re supposed to hold it so you can read the trademark.” Aaron didn’t say anything, but when the next pitch came he hit it into the left-field bleachers. After rounding the bases and tagging up at home plate, Aaron looked at Yogi Berra and said, “I didn’t come up here to read.” - "Nehemiah, Learning to Lead," J. M. Boice, Revell, 1990, p. 38

Oh, that we would be more like Hank Aaron. When the devil comes to us with distraction, we say, "I didn't come here for that. I'm here to do what the Lord called me to do." It will take focus. It will take discipline. It will take constant monitoring. But we must avoid distraction at all costs.

For more on the subject of distraction, check out my new book, The Deadly Darts of the Devil.