I have a confession. I get distracted. Easily. That may surprise some of you. I’ve never really noticed that about myself either until more recently, but it’s true.
At work there are emails, phone calls, requests for help or advice. I always seem to be switching from one thing to another. And I truly cannot focus on multiple things simultaneously (I hear you gasp – no, I am not one of those multi-tasking superwomen). At home, I always seem to be hijacked by momentary distractions. One morning I emptied the kitchen bin, took the rubbish to the outside bin, came back inside, and some time later walked in to the kitchen to discover the cupboard door wide open, empty bin still sitting on the floor. Oops. As I write, there’s a load of clothes in the washing machine still waiting to be hung out.
Earlier, I took some folded clothes into the bedroom to put away. Oh look, what’s in that pile of books still waiting to be read? Oh wait, I’ve already read that one. And the next thing I know, I’m flipping through the pages again, checking out the sections I’ve underlined, remembering the things that spoke to me. Thinking that I’d really like to read it again, so the truths in its pages really sink in.
Speaking of books, I’ve lost count of the books I have that hold bookmarks, receipts and slips of paper to mark my place … before I got distracted. I even made a plan to read my Shelf of the Unread. I got part way through Dickens’ Little Dorrit … before I got distracted. Although if you’ve read it, or even just seen the book, I’m sure you understand how that could happen – it’s nearly 800 pages long. That was around March last year. I still haven’t finished it. Little Dorrit or the Shelf of the Unread. Now I have a whole new pile waiting for my attention.
Don’t get me wrong, I can also be very focused. When I’m engrossed in something, or am particularly intent on the outcome of an activity, I’m focused. And if I’m focused, if I’ve overcome the distractions that are just a subtle form of procrastination, I move towards the goal that’s in sight.
I wondered where this post was going, but then I’m reminded of Jesus. He had a goal in sight, and he didn’t allow himself to be distracted, to procrastinate over it, even though he knew what was coming. Knew the price he was to pay.
As the time approached for him to be taken up to heaven, Jesus resolutely set out for Jerusalem. (Luke 9:51)
Resolute. Jesus was determined. He moved with a fixed, firm purpose. No distractions. No deviation. And we are the beneficiaries of his sacrifice. We are the loved and the blessed.