“For most of us, the great danger is not that we will renounce our faith. It is that we will become so distracted and rushed and preoccupied that we will settle for a mediocre version of it. We will just skim our lives instead of actually living them.” ~ Ortberg
Consider when most trouble comes… is it not when we are distracted or our guard is down? A rising cause of injury is people distracted by their phones… have you seen the stories of those walking into things, falling in stairways or holes, or getting into accidents all becomes they were distracted?
Sometimes our problem is not that we are distracted, but that we are focused on too many things. Seneca writes, “To be everywhere is to be nowhere.” We cannot ‘effectively’ focus on multiple fronts. Or, how about focusing on the wrong things? When we choose to allow our focus to be on things of minor, or of no importance, we make a choice to miss the mark of the principal objective and purpose of our lives.
Jesus tells the story of several young ladies waiting for the coming of the bridegroom; five were focused on their objective and prepared for the wait by having appropriate supplies. The other five, distracted by lesser things, did not make good choices. At midnight when the Bridegroom arrived, those who had prepared by making wise choices were ready and where chosen, while the foolish young ladies were anxiously grasping for provisions for the trip and missed out.
Even in his naturalistic mindset, Aristotle referred to man’s finding contentment as Eudemian which focused on virtue as the way to man reaching his purpose. The cardinal virtues by which this was achieved are discernment, self-control, justice, and courage. The basic principle necessary for these virtues to function is wisdom, or more simply, by what standard do you discern what is right and how to control yourself. You cannot just make these up, they must be principles that are consistent with reality and life’s design… or you will find yourself frustrated because you were focused on the wrong things. It doesn’t matter how just or courageous you are if you are operating by the wrong standard that is against design. The outcome of your choice, just like the foolish young ladies, will be chaos and loss.
Paul tells us… if you want to know a peace and contentment (Eudemian) that surpasses all comprehension, and will guard your heart and mind, then focus on, “…whatever is true, whatever is honorable and worthy of respect, whatever is right and confirmed by God’s word, whatever is pure and wholesome, whatever is lovely and brings peace, whatever is admirable and of good repute; if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think continually on these things [center your mind on them, and implant them in your heart].” (Phil 4:8)
Being distracted by lesser things is what breeds troubles. Aligning yourself with what is true, or that which corresponds with reality, and what is right… regardless of its consequences, will always end in peace, contentment, and the joy found in the presence of our Heavenly Father, and His Son and our Savior, Jesus Christ.
“And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.” (Philippians 4:7)
Praying U choose Christ today
Written by David Brown: David Brown is a husband, father, grandfather, Pastor with a Masters of Religious Studies and a Professor of Philosophy and Comparative Religions. Dave is the Associate Pastor of Pemberton’s First Baptist Church. He is the author of two devotional books, “From a Chair by the Window.” And “#PrayerWinsThe Day”.