Dangerous Distractions by Carolyn Tucker

Keys to the Kingdom By Carolyn Tucker



Often I find myself so distracted that I completely forget my original intentions. Recently, while in the kitchen, I realized I’d left my water bottle on the nightstand. On my way to the bedroom, I noticed that I hadn’t fired up my computer. So I stopped to turn it on, and then I checked the weather. By then I’d forgotten about my original mission and returned to the kitchen. Then I remembered I didn’t even make it to the bedroom to retrieve my water bottle. I unintentionally aborted my own mission simply because I let myself get distracted. Like the busy woman in the middle of the staircase who got distracted, stopped to send a text, and then couldn’t figure out if she was supposed to be going up or down.


Spiritually speaking, distractions are not humorous or harmless. In the Old Testament, the prophet Elisha sent his servant Gehazi on an urgent mission. Elisha warned him not to be casual or distracted along the way. “Get ready to travel; take my staff and go! Don’t talk to anyone along the way. Go quickly and lay the staff on the child’s face” (2 Kings 4:29 NLT). The MEV states, “Prepare yourself, take my staff in your hand, and go. If you find anyone, do not greet him, and if anyone greets you, do not answer him, and lay my staff on the face of the boy.” Gehazi was not to dilly dally on the journey because the boy had died on his mother’s lap, and she had hurried to Elisha for help.  


When Elisha and the mother arrived later at the house, he found the boy dead and lying on his  bed. He entered the room, shut the door to distractions, and prayed to God. He put his face on the boy’s face and his hands on the boy’s cold hands. Then Elisha bent over the boy and his flesh warmed. He left the room and then returned, bent over him again and the boy sneezed seven times and opened his eyes. The thing that struck me while reading this account in this year’s reading was not the miraculous raising of the dead by the man of God. It was the fact that allowing certain distractions can change the outcome of our lives.


This young boy’s life could have had a much-different ending had Gehazi allowed himself to be distracted along the way to the woman’s son. This incident occurred in the Old Testament, and the topic of distractions was also candidly addressed in the New Testament. And in the 21st century, we continue to deal with risky distractions that persistently plague our culture.


“I will guard against the cares and anxieties of the world and distractions of the age, and the pleasure and delight and false glamour and deceitfulness of riches, and the craving and passionate desire for other things that creep in and choke and suffocate the Word, causing it to become fruitless” (Mark 4:19). Jesus was on a mission of love and salvation  to change the world. Because He and His disciples disallowed distractions, they turned the world upside down. There was an urgency with Jesus as He stayed on task to do His Father’s will.


As full-on believers, let’s be more aware of the dangerous distractions of this world and be determined to fervently follow Jesus’ example. Life is full of intense choices and glowing opportunities, but we must honestly realize that, “I cannot do everything so I choose those things which are vital and excellent and of real value. I have wisdom and I am able to distinguish the highest and the best things for me to do” (Philippians 1:10).        


The Key:  Block distractions so you can determine if you’re going up or down.

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