A couple of weeks ago, I was running an errand that required me to drive farther than I'm usually comfortable with. You see, I don't like to drive. I know how to drive, and I'm very competent, I just don't enjoy it. In addition to that, I inherited my dad's sense of direction, which means I couldn't find my way out of a paper bag with an opening at both ends. Nevertheless, I had an errand that needed to be run, so I hopped in the truck and followed the directions my husband had given me. I had driven to the place a couple of times before, so I knew it wasn't that difficult. It was the trip home that gave me trouble.
As I drove, I was listening to a book on CD. In fact, I was engrossed in the story. A little too engrossed, as it turns out. Don't get me wrong, I was watching where I was going and paying attention to traffic. What I didn't notice, however, was that I missed a turn. Slowly, as I drove along, I realized that nothing looked familiar anymore. The farther I went, the less familiar things looked. In a state of panic, I realized what I had done. It was impossible for me to determine, however, how far past my turn I had come. I was debating whether to turn around and try to find my turn or continue on in hopes that something would become familiar.
I continued down the road, glancing around, searching for anything that looked familiar. I tried to calm my churning stomach, telling myself that I could always turn around and go back the other way. But then, a moment of decision appeared. The road I was on no longer went straight. All traffic had to turn either left or right. I reasoned that since I was supposed to have turned left a ways back, turning left would be the right choice. In the back of my mind, I prayed that reasoning was sound. Before long, I began to see signs for the BiLo Center, which is very close to my house. Relieved, I followed the signs to the BiLo Center, knowing that I could find my way home from there.
Looking back, it's a humorous tale. At the time, however, I was not laughing. Thankfully, my distraction only cost me a little time and panic. It could have been much worse.
Distraction is a deadly tool used by Satan to get us off course in our Christian walk. Often, we are so distracted that we don't even realize we're off course until we're far from where we should be. Then we're left with the trip, stumbling around in the dark, trying to figure out where we took the wrong turn and how to get back on track.
Many things can serve as a distraction: people, circumstances, money, fame, and sin, just to name a few. These things (except sin), in and of themselves, are not wrong. But our focus on them can be. It's easy to get so bogged down with certain things that we lose our true focus. We get off course. We miss our turn.
Distraction. It seems innocent, but it's so very deadly! So how can we fight against it? I think it's best said in Hebrews 12:2, Looking unto Jesus the author and finisher of our faith; who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is set down at the right hand of the throne of God. As long as our eyes are on Christ, we'll be headed in the right direction. It's a matter of focus.