Distraction Leads To Defeat

The basketball game is near its end. The score is close. Lose and go home. Win and play in the next round. The sound of a whistle penetrates the noise of the crowd. A foul is called. As the shooter stands at the line preparing for his free throws, the opposing crowd screams and waves towels or whatever trying to distract the shooter. Focus reigns in this moment. The shot is made. It’s “March Madness” in the US. 

He is driving on the freeway talking with animation to his friends in the car. He turns to see those to whom he’s talking.

She is also driving on the freeway. Struggling to pull on her hose. Then applying makeup.

We call that distracted driving. Many times a day it ends in disaster.

Meanwhile, my mind wandered to many things while reading my daily office this morning. Many thoughts competed for brain cycles while the “me” part of the brain was saying, “Let’s concentrate on our breath and God.”

I began to wonder. How many places in the Bible are stories about distraction?

There is the story about Mary and Martha. Mary was sitting at Jesus’ feet soaking in every word he said. Martha was preparing a meal for their guests. She complained. Jesus said to her that she was distracted by many things but that Mary had chosen the best.

The story of the wedding feast in Matthew where the king invites his most important subjects to a wedding feast for his son. They are all distracted by their businesses and cares and don’t come. The king disowns them and invites many other people.

The ability to focus–especially in this age of information overload and electronic distractions–becomes the hallmark of the successful person.

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