Driven to Distraction

Early Sunday morning, a few weeks ago, I woke up extra early to prepare for my Sunday School class, only to be distracted by another random task calling my name, leaving my preparation less than best.

Then while in the class, my cell phone signaled a text message arrival. I quickly silenced the alert, only to have it vibrate loudly two minutes later with another text message.

Several minutes later, someone else’s cell phone rang an alert.

A few minutes after that, the children loudly shuffled past our group to practice their special presentation, returning 15 minutes later, sweetly suspending our discussion once again.

The thing is - this type of stuff rarely happens in our class. No cell phones. No parades. No distractions. Each week, we have awesome discussions that experience very few interruptions. Even late arrivals don’t divert us from our study.

Our text that morning was Acts 16, particularly the demon-possessed, fortune-telling servant girl who followed Paul for days shouting "These men are servants of the Most High God, who are telling you the way to be saved." This greatly distressed Paul, and he cast out the demon. Since the girl was declaring truth, our group shared thoughts on why Paul would be distressed, concluding that if “he accepted her words, he would appear to be linking the Good News with demon-related activities.” (Life Appl Bible)

And then it occurred to me. While that was most certainly true, it might also be simply that she was a distraction to the work Paul and his companions were doing.

Grrrr! That word - distraction! 

Lately, I’ve been quite onvicted about my own distracted nature. Unlike the focused, goal-oriented people I admire, I am a tumbleweed, often wandering from room to room, task to task. Being very busy, but in reality, accomplishing little.

My dear friend, Joanne at Blessed, shared not one, but two posts a few weeks ago about distraction. When she wrote that her nickname is “bright, shiny thing,” I laughed out loud, knowing that it could easily be mine too! She calls it “the attraction of distraction,” and that’s exactly what it is. It’s a lure, a snare, a decoy. Like a fishing lure, distraction will entice us, then hook us, keeping us from accomplishing anything.

"Hi, my name is Susan, and I'm a distractaholic."

There I said it. Just as alcohol can derail the one addicted to it, so too, can distraction. Now, there's nothing wrong with being a free spirit. Usually, I love being one. But there are times when I know that God signals a certain task for my day or a call on my life, and I must be honest and admit - I'm being disobedient.

Oswald Chambers said that "Good is the enemy of best." The soothsaying servant girl shared a truthful statement, but it was a distraction from the men who were on God's mission of truth. I may be busily serving the Lord, but if I'm not also listening to Him, my work is a distraction from my relationship with Him. Sometimes, a tumbleweed needs an anchor.

I want you to do whatever will help you serve the Lord best, with as few distractions as possible. 1 Cor. 7:35b


Susan J. Reinhardt said...

Hi Susan -

I get sidetracked too often. I'll be cleaning a bookshelf, and start reading. The list goes on.

The girl was also diverting the people's attention away from the Gospel message onto Paul, the one delivering it.

Susan :)

Terri Tiffany said...

Thank you for your comment the other day on my blog. I pray your trip south went well and that opportunity presented itself all over the place:))

Cathy said...

Good stuff my've covered it all :)

Lynn said...

This was excellent! The reason being that I relate oh so much. Keep up the words of wisdom Susan. You are a truly unique and gifted woman.


Nancy said...

OUCH!! that was a timely word, enjoyed your husband and your son this weekend, AJ is just a ball of energy and it was a blessing the way he reached out to the young kids and hung out with them, namely my nephews and their two friends, you should be so proud of what you and Tony have sown into that kid!

Jeanie said...


quietspirit said...

I get interrupted by my husband when I am writing. I used to not care for the situation. But I have learned to take it in stride. God showed me that time was too short to grumble.

Joanne@ Blessed... said...

Wonderful post Susan. Would you believe I included that quote in my book too, "The Good is the Enemy of the Best"? Great minds think alike.

Thank you for your encouragement over at my blog this week. I am going to be unable to visit your blog for awhile, but am grateful to God for the writing that is taking away my blog time. I can't wait to rejoice with your "good news"!

Love you friend!