Distractions. If you’re anything like me, when you hear that word, you flinch. Whenever someone speaks about distractions in church or even just in everyday life, I’m always reminded of the distractions in my own life. The things that often keep me away from spending the quality time with God that I know I should, or the things that keep me from working on projects that I know need to be completed. Do you struggle with distractions? If so, you’re not alone. I think if we’re all honest, we’d admit that we’ve all gotten distracted at some point in our lives. It’s a very real thing, especially in this day and age. We live in the world of Instagram, TikTok and so many other social media platforms, where there is always something going on—something vying for our attention.
Recently, I’ve been confronted with the reality of my own distractions. I realized that I have been allowing other things to occupy my time and energy, so much that when it was time to spend with God, I would give Him the bare minimum. I would still be reading my word and praying; however, I would often be thinking about what I have to do next during this time, or I would end up falling asleep because I had worn myself out doing other things. When the Holy Spirit made me aware of this, I mourned because I knew that God deserves so much more of me—my time, my energy, my attention, and my worship. The truth is, a lot of the things that often kept me from giving God the time that He deserves weren’t bad. In most cases, I was being productive, even sharing the gospel with others, but God helped me to realize that even those things can become a distraction, when it takes away from spending quality time with Him. He reminded me of the story of Mary and Martha in Luke 10. In this, Jesus visited Mary and Martha’s home and during His visit, Martha was busy attempting to make Jesus’ visit more comfortable, while Mary sat at Jesus’ feet and listened to Him. In the midst of her preparations, Martha became angry with Mary because Mary wasn’t helping her prepare; but, Jesus responded to Martha in Luke 10: 41-42 (NIV): “‘Martha, Martha,” the Lord answered, “you are worried and upset about many things, but few things are needed—or indeed only one. Mary has chosen what is better, and it will not be taken away from her’.” Jesus told Martha that Mary had chosen better. What Mary chose was to put all of those other things aside—the distractions—and sit at Jesus’ feet.
As believers, it’s easy for us to become caught up in the doing. We want to do things for God, and there’s nothing wrong with that; however, the problem arises when we’re more focused on the doing than actually being with Jesus. It’s dangerous when we’re more eager to go out and do things in Jesus’ name, without taking the time to know who Jesus really is by sitting at His feet, listening to Him, and just being still in His presence. I feel like God is calling us back to His feet in this new year. Like Mary, He wants us to sit at His feet and listen. He desires more for us to be with Him and learn about His ways and His heart, than to do things in His name without actually knowing Him personally. He wants us to put away the distractions, even if they aren’t necessarily bad, repent, and return to His feet. Since the Holy Spirit gave me the revelation of the distractions in my own life, I have been meditating on this passage of scripture, asking God to help me to have a heart like Mary in a Martha-like world. I have been praying to have a heart that desires more to know Jesus and be known by Him than to do things in His name.
Let’s all lay aside our distractions and return to the feet of Jesus. He will always welcome us with open arms.