Distractions Steal Your Awareness

They had important guests. A bunch of guys they knew had dropped by for a couple of days of relaxation and conversation. These were friends. But still, one had to show appropriate hospitality.

Two sisters and a brother lived in the house. One sister was busy doing the right thing. She was being hospitable. She asked the guests what they wanted to drink. She scurried around assembling a dinner for 13 guests.

Like most women in the situation, she was a bit frazzled. And a bit upset. No, more than a bit.

What was that worthless sister of hers doing sitting there talking with the guests leaving her with all the work? Doesn’t she know that men sit around and talk. Women prepare the meal. That’s the way it was then. That’s the way it had been for 1,000 years before.

So, she goes to the head guy and asks him to tell her sister to go help.

“Martha, Martha,” Jesus replied. You know you’re in trouble when he repeats your name. “You are distracted by many things. Your sister Mary has chosen the better way.”

Mary was focused on learning and growing and on the relationship they had with Jesus.

There Martha was, a chance to learn from the world’s greatest teacher. Right there in her living room. And she was distracted.

The guests would have been happy with whatever they could pull together to eat.

Distraction steals from your awareness. It therefore steals from the future. Awareness leads to focus. Focus leads to becoming. By focusing on the right things, a person can grow to be all that God created them to be.

What is today’s distraction? Or, even what is the distraction of the minute?

I sometimes need noise around in order to focus better. I can sit for two hours at a noisy coffee shop and focus better than in the quiet of my office. There are all those opportunities for distraction that I can tune out. In the quiet of my office, I can glance up at a familiar painting or at my bookcase, and my mind can go off on some tangent. I’m distracted.

Then I remember, don’t let distraction be a thief.

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2 Responses to “Distractions Steal Your Awareness”

  1. Emily Wilson Says:

    This Bible story has always irritated me. The focus is always on criticizing Martha and showing her to be inferior to Mary. The problem with the story is that it does not go on to say whether the people gathered there ate the food Martha prepared. I will bet that they did, with Jesus tucking into the meal right along with everybody else. Nowhere does it say that the guests rejected the food. Do you think that they would have been happy to go hungry while Martha sat down and participated in the discussion? I doubt that.

  2. Gary Mintchell Says:

    Yes, you can take that story in many ways. Martha was given a gentle reprimand, but it was for distraction. Not so much for being hospitable. She probably had alternative ways of acting and reacting.

    My grandmother, for example, would just get everyone organized, make assignments, and get the meal prepared and served. Then there was time for conversation.

    Most likely, Martha was annoying and distracting as well as distracted. I bet bringing out some bread, olive oil, and za’atar with some olives or vegetables would have been quick and easy and done with cheerfulness.

    But even that scenario is just speculation. In reality, the only thing we should take away from the story is to not get distracted from what is important.

    Jesus was like that voice that, if we listen to it, tells us to pause, slow down, focus, then get on with life.

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