How many times does this happen – you sit down to do devotions, and then you get a text message… or you realize that you forgot to start dinner… or you realize that you never returned that important call you received earlier? How many times do you go answer that text message or complete that small task? It’s only a quick thing, might as well get that done first, right?
Distractions. We as humans struggle with these in most areas of our life. However, we cannot come into God’s presence with a preoccupied mind. If we want to listen to Jesus and if we desire to learn more about Him, we can’t only give Him part of our attention – we need to be all in.
Margaret Feinberg – who is actually our Spring Ladies Day speaker this year – has a pretty powerful quote. She states: “God did not create you to live a distracted life. God created you to live a Jesus-infused life.”
There are many instances in scripture where people found themselves distracted when Jesus was right in front of them. The Book of Luke speaks of Martha, who was so distracted with serving and being a good hostess while her sister, Mary, was focused on Jesus. The Lord corrected Martha, reminding her of what was important. And who could forget the story of Paul, who was miraculously walking on the stormy waters when he got distracted by fear, took his eyes off of Jesus, and started sinking?
If we allow things to distract us from Jesus – the son of God who came down in the form of man, performed miracles, died for us… and then conquered death – then it only makes sense that we start sinking. We need Him. If you think about it, we have this amazing, can’t-wrap-our-minds-around-it opportunity to talk to God and learn about Him. How could we allow ourselves be distracted?
I personally recognized one of the main distractions in my life just yesterday and the day before – my iPhone. I already knew that I was way too dependent and focused on it, but it really became clear in these past couple of days. It stopped working and I had to go a whole 24 hours without it – gasp!
What was a millennial to do?
I went home that evening and opened up my Bible – without my cell phone right next to me – and I realized something important. I realized how much deeper I got into my reading, how much more I got out of it, and how much more joy I experienced when I didn’t have beeps and bings going off every few minutes. Beeps and bings that I just “needed to check.” Why do we find it so important to check that Facebook notification or text message when we can be in conversation with the One who created everything and who can answer any question? Distractions are something I definitely struggle with, but I am learning more and more every day to lay those distractions, those idols, at the feet of Jesus … and just listen to Him.
Erin Culleny is a new member of America’s Keswick’s full-time staff. Erin serves as a Marketing Assistant and Staff Writer. She had served on Summer Staff since 2011, and this past summer had the unique opportunity of co-directing Children’s Ministry with one of her best friends. She is very excited to continue to build relationships with the guests and be very involved in the ministry.