Monday – Coming Distractions

By George Volpe

“I am saying this for your own benefit, not to put a restraint on you, but to promote what is proper and so that you may be devoted to the Lord without distraction.” 1 Corinthians 7:35

The Latin adjective desultorius, the parent of desultory, was used by the ancients to refer to a circus performer…whose trick was to leap from horse to horse without stopping. It makes sense, therefore, that someone desultory "jumps" from one thing to another. (Merriam-Webster) We might call it lack of focus.

Most if not all of us have projects, big and small, that we’d like to get done. Some require lots of resources, some just take the time to do them. I have a friend who had the shell of his house built some 25 years ago. His plan was to finish the house himself in a few years. He has been working on that house ever since. He had piles of boards in bedrooms and materials stacked all over the house. His family managed to work around the obstacles. The distractions of life have slowed his progress significantly so that a project that should have taken a few years is still ongoing. I wonder if he will ever finish it.

There are lots of books available on managing interruptions and how to maintain focus. Distractions happen to us every day. I walk out of the kitchen for something else while I have the microwave on, and I forget it’s running until the beep reminds me, I was heating something that’s now overdone. I answer the phone while I am walking to the garage, and after the call, I stand there wondering why I am in the garage. I got distracted.

Nehemiah was determined to rebuild the wall of Jerusalem, but determination alone was not enough. All the required materials and all the needed help was not enough. The project was opposed by those who did not want the walls of Jerusalem to be rebuilt. Construction alone was a significant time-consuming and difficult hurdle. But Nehemiah also knew he would be facing strong opposition that would do anything to stop their progress.

We face that kind of opposition in our personal lives daily. We know we are here on Earth for a reason. God placed us here for the purpose He has ordained before we were born. And so many things successfully distract us that we learn to think like the world. We forget why we are here. The devil is radically successful in distracting our focus away from God’s honor, God’s glory, and God’s purpose for us. Challenges, worries, and discomfort sometimes keep us laser-focused on ourselves and away from trusting and serving God.

Read Romans 8.

Bible Reading Plan - Day 1

Exodus 13:17-14:31;

Ps 80

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