We were all snuggled in blankets, staring up at a starry sky, trying to catch glimpses of the meteor shower that was unfolding before our eyes. My wife Melissa was being patient with my son and daughter as they asked, “Where’s the shower?” while I urged “Shh…just watch!” (as if silence would help us see better!). Without fail my kids would be looking away, distracted by our dog Keiko or re-adjusting their blankets when Melissa and I would exclaim “Wow…Did you see that!”
No, they didn’t.
There were too many distractions, even on a pitch-black night in our campground.
Seems to me that distraction is a major issue for many of us these days. We often fail to see the main attraction in front of us because we are too occupied with distractions around us.
We like distractions. These little ‘entertainments’ take our mind off of more important and pressing issues at hand. Who has time to care about the plight of mankind when we have to ask the question “Is it politically correct to say mankind, or should it be peoplekind?” Video games, binge-watching Netflix, scrolling through Instagram or watching cat videos on YouTube can burn through hours of our most precious resource; time. They lighten our mood temporarily until we realize we will never get that work assignment completed on time or that we will have to explain to our spouse why another Saturday has come and gone without the honey-do list attended to.
But do we really gain any real pleasure by daily distracting ourselves with trivial matters rather than fixing our focus on what is really important in life?
I think not.
In Mark 4 Jesus told a parable of the Sower, who sowed seed on different types of soil. Some seed fell among the thorns, and after quickly growing, got choked out by “the worries of this life, the deceitfulness of wealth and the desires for other things” (v. 18). The result? No fruit.
Worry, wealth, misplaced desires. The fear of missing out (FOMO). All of these are distractions. And they lead to spiritual stagnation and death.
Could it be that many of us rarely make headway and experience true fruitfulness because we have allowed the silent saboteur named distraction keep us from our Divine destiny?
Any great accomplishment happens with singular focus and dedication. Ask any gold medalist how many times they had to say no. No late-night parties, no sleeping in, no ice cream. All these ‘no’s’ so they can scream “YES!” when they win the medal. (Ok, feel free to have some ice cream now!)
As followers of Jesus, we cannot afford to be unfruitful. We cannot be distracted from sharing the good news with those who need it most. We must not be amused to death when we have the life of the Spirit living within us.
Focus on what matters. Focus on WHO matters.
Everything else will come into proper perspective.
Grow. Be Fruitful. Multiply.