Distractions are a funny thing. We all get distracted from the tasks that we begin. Sometimes we begin the task of mowing the lawn and get distracted by the kids playing and getting hurt. As a pastor, there will be times when I will begin a task at 9 AM (ok maybe 10) and get distracted 15 minutes later and do not get back to that task until 4 PM. I do not believe all distractions are bad. In fact, I believe some distractions to be exactly what God wants for us in that moment. Now make sure you are reading this clearly because I am speaking in specific terms (sometimes, some, etc.). Please do not take what I am writing out of context. There are some distractions that get us sidetracked for a while and are not good. Do not tell people that I think all distractions are good – they will think I am psycho and we want them to meet me before they think that.
I think of distractions that have happened in my life that I know were God ordained. I remember on a Sunday morning while I was getting ready for our services, around 8 AM or so, there was a woman who called and asked for help. Now you must know that Sundays for a pastor have the tendency to get a little crazy and hectic. After forgetting to print off the bulletin, unlock all of the doors, add a cool illustration for my third point of my message, find a replacement for the teacher who called in sick, get a hip reminder of the day’s message, fold the bulletins now that they are printed off, and other minor details, things can get jumbled around and we forget that people are going to be coming in no time. This is what it is about, isn’t it? People. You must also know that I receive several of these needy requests during the course of a week. This one was different all the way around. The moment I began speaking to her, I felt at peace that God was going to use our church to help this woman and her family out. She had a child who needed a breathing machine for his asthma. We obviously do not stock breathing machines, but we could do something. I told her to come that day to our services, look me up, and when I saw her then I would collect an offering to help buy a breathing machine for her son. She came! We kept our end of the deal and purchased a breathign machine for her child and gave it to them. Now it would have been just as easy for me to shove her off to get my to-do list done for that day, but I felt that this “distraction” was God’s way of practicing what I preach. You see, that day I spoke on our need to help other people when the opportunity presents itself and we have the ability to meet the need. That took care of the object lesson and reminder of the day’s message. We put it into action before the final prayer was even said. WOW! Thank you God for the distraction!
In this season of life that Amy and I have found ourselves in, there is no shortage of distractions. It seems like thinking about this child consumes my thinking. It distracts me from some of the responsibilities that I have. However, I am confident that this distraction, too, will serve some greater purpose.
Sometimes our distractions actually help us focus our attention better. This is what I am hoping for!
Until next time…(hopefully not a long space in between this time)