On numerous occasions and in various contexts, my wife and daughter like to point out to me, and consequently whoever happens to be in the vicinity, that I am easily distracted. At least I think that’s what they say…I don’t always listen.
Typically when we think about the word distraction, it has a negative connotation with it. What I am proposing is that we flip our thinking and look at it in a positive way. Whenever we face challenges, uncertain futures, or just too much time to think about the worst possible scenarios, why not pour ourselves into the things of God? A popular remedy for people who want to keep themselves out of trouble is to keep themselves busy. I get it. That makes sense. From a practical stance, it’s a solid way to combat desires and temptations that may creep up on us if we are idle. If you’re too busy to get into trouble, then so be it. So why not take this approach to our relationship with God and battling sin and temptations? Rather than stay idle, (the Bible never has anything good to say about that), let’s take an active stance with God’s word.
A perfect passage that captures combating idleness and distracting myself with the right things, is Philippians 4:8. “Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things.” Such a simple, elementary practice, but it has profound impacts in your daily living. Most of us don’t truly understand the power and import of getting our thoughts on the right things. Paul reminded us of this in 2 Corinthians 10:5 when he said, “We demolish arguments and every pretension that sets itself up against the knowledge of God, and we take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ.” Make your thoughts captive to the right and holy things of God.
One of the definitions for distraction is “having one’s thoughts or attention drawn away”. So remember, I’m talking about us putting a different spin on this. Instead of distraction as a bad thing, let’s allow ourselves to be distracted (at least in the sense of being focused and consumed) with the things of God. Put your thoughts on Him. Remind yourself daily that this is not all there is. This world is broken and will continue to be broken as long as sin runs rampant. But if you are a child of God, you have a hope and a future in Paradise with the King of Kings! So what is there to stress about (Matthew 6:27)?
Going back to Paul’s plan of attack for our minds in this battlefield: this is not the same form of battle the world normally fights. We must plan accordingly. The present situation we find ourselves in, with an invisible enemy in the form of a virus, will eat up our thoughts. It will distract us, breed fear, and push us to forget Jesus. But since we understand this, let’s not give it any more control over us. Pick up God’s word. Colossians 3:1-2 seems a fitting way to end. “Since, then, you have been raised with Christ, set your hearts on things above, where Christ is, seated at the right hand of God. Set your minds on things above, not on earthly things.”