I guess I have to define what I mean by distractor. A distractor is a person or thing that consumes our attention and diverts our focus away what is most important to us. I have recently become distracted by the very words that I used to speak to my kids about. It’s wreaking havoc among the young as well as old of this and future generations.
There are all kinds of people and things that can and do get our attention and divert our primary focus. When I was young the primary distractor was the television. It came out in the early 50’s and it was so new that people would stare at the TV for hours on end. It was and can be a distractor to living productive lives, but it’s not the primary distractor of today. People and things aren’t detractors in and of themselves. The distraction comes when we choose to take our attention away from the important things of life and allow people and things around us to grab our focus.
The present day object that causes present day distractions is the cell phone. I am as guilty as the next in looking at Facebook, sports news, my email and texts, playing soduku, etc. The list goes on and on. I was always telling my kids to get off their phones, and I am subtlely, getting more and more distracted by the things that I can learn and play with on my phone. The cell phone is NOT bad in and of itself. The problem comes when I should be focusing on the more important things of life and my mind is diverted over to looking at my phone. There are times that I could be reading uplifting material or writing a letter to my mom and the distractor draws me away from the important.
The reason I am talking about this subject was triggered by a passage I read this morning in Jeremiah. “From our youth shameful gods have consumed the fruits of our ancestors’ labor— their flocks and herds, their sons and daughters. . . . We have sinned against the Lord our God, both we and our ancestors; from our youth till this day we have not obeyed the Lord our God.” Jeremiah 3:24-25 Jeremiah doesn’t call them distractors, but “gods” that have consumed our time. He says that the distractors have negatively affected our labor of looking after the flocks and herds, and the “gods” (distractors) have negatively affected our relationships with our sons and daughters.
The only way to get back on track is to admit to the distractors in our lives that have consumed our attention. Sometimes on this journey we take side roads that are dead ends in our lives. Getting out of a dead end is admitting that we have turned our attention away from the main path that leads to health, healing and eternal life. On this journey become aware of distractors that tempt you off the important roads of life.