I am increasingly amazed at how easy it is to move in and out of the distracted life. I am writing this on Election Day, and here we are…DISTRACTED. No, not everyone, but many are, and the rest of us probably have our own customized distraction(s).
The hardest distractions to detect are the ones we celebrate…i.e. hard work, always there for every need, never has a hair out of place… notice that none of these are bad. They are even virtuous, unless they have made the turn into a distraction.
This week, I went to a prison to visit a man in our church who has recently come to faith in Jesus. He had lapsed into an addiction, and his parole officer responded in kind, landing him in the Hotel Caldwell. It was a great ministry moment for several reasons. The first of those was the long wait resulting from the officer forgetting to take him to the room where we would connect by phone with Plexiglas between us. It was in that long wait that I questioned why I was never behind bars. I thought about why I should have been, what happened that kept me out, and in that wait, I felt God’s grace on me. Then, I was distracted because I had to wait… see how easy it is?
When he finally arrived, we had a truly amazing, tear induced talk, and then he said it. “It doesn’t matter if I am in or out. God knows best, and I will serve Him no matter the outcome of my trial.” Now, you may be thinking that it is much easier to be present with God when you are in prison and not distracted. Only those who have had nothing to do with prison would have such a thought. The biggest difference in being in prison and being out of prison is that most distractions when we are out of prison are of our own making.
As I write this, I am not aware of who will be elected, but I am aware of the invitation to be distracted. I am also reminded of how important it is to have God’s word in my head… “and they will know we are Christians by our love.” What evidence is there in the past week that you had moments where you were present with God, engaged in what He was doing right in front of you?