How often do you have a phone in your hands when you’re driving? I didn’t realize it had become a habit for me until the “Hands Free Law” went into effect in our state at the beginning of the month. The new law “prohibits motorists from holding phones and other electronic devices while driving.”* (Here’s a link to the complete law if you’re interested: http://www.headsupgeorgia.com/handsfree-law/)
Whether I was talking on the phone, checking my email at a red light, or replying to a text at a stop sign, the bottom line? I was a distracted driver.
It’s taken a few weeks to get used to being ‘unplugged’. My earpiece still allows me to answer important calls, but the need to stay up to the minute with other news has decreased significantly. And guess what? I like it.
So many distractions
The new law made me consider. Are there other areas of my life where I’m distracted? The word ‘distracted’ means preoccupied, or showing a lack of concentration (Encarta Dictionary). It didn’t take long to recognize some saboteurs:
*snacking without a good reason — after a long day, I can turn on Food Network and eat mindlessly when I’m not even hungry
*multitasking while I’m on the phone — somewhere along the way, I’ve bought into the lie that it’s a waste of time to simply focus on the conversation I’m having; instead I need to accomplish something while I’m at it. I end up missing half of the conversation and doing a poor job on the additional task
*allowing multiple projects to overwhelm me — I see several things that need to be taken care of, and the sheer number of them causes me to avoid getting started
There are many distractions, but I noticed something significant. When I’m preoccupied, I lose sight of what’s important. Think about it.
We can be busy helping our neighbor, teaching a Bible study, or ladling soup at a homeless shelter — but if our activities prevent us from developing a relationship with Jesus Christ, the One in whose name we serve, we are distracted.
Remember Mary and her sister Martha? Preparing for and serving guests was highly important, especially in their culture. What Martha was doing had great significance. Yet in her hustle and bustle to serve the Lord her attitude did a nosedive, and her irritation surfaced:
But Martha was cumbered about much serving, and came to him, and said, Lord, dost thou not care that my sister hath left me to serve alone? bid her therefore that she help me. Luke 10:40; KJV
Do you see Martha’s distraction? In an effort to serve Jesus, she missed the opportunity to spend time with Him:
And Jesus answered and said unto her, Martha, Martha, thou art careful and troubled about many things: But one thing is needful: and Mary hath chosen that good part, which shall not be taken away from her. Luke 10:41–42; KJV
We’re familiar with this story, and it’s easy to point out Martha’s mistake. But don’t we do the same thing? Instead, let’s put Jesus’ words into practice: do some rearranging, remove the distractions, and shift the focus to our relationship with our Savior.
Can you identify any distractions in your life? What step will you take to remove them and re-focus on the Lord?
Can I pray for you?
Heavenly Father, thank You for this important reminder. It’s easy to get distracted with the urgent and forget to focus on spending time with You. Forgive us. Help us identify distractions and give priority to our daily relationship with You. In Jesus’ name, Amen.