Distractions Become Choices

“I have no prayer life. I am constantly interrupted by the phone.”

“I have no time to spend with the Lord because my schedule is so full.”

“I can never find the time to ____ (fill-in-the-blank with any spiritual discipline).”

A Shift in Thinking

During the evening worship of a recent mission project, our entire team bemoaned the challenges of staying focused on God’s will upon returning home. There are way too many distractions in our “normal” lives.

Upon further reflection, one team member shared a game changer:

Distractions are choices

“Distractions” are not things, not a noun or person or place. They are choices we make.


Insight from Joshua

Consider Joshua’s final conversation with the people of Israel (Joshua 24). He had been with them since the exodus from Egypt. In these closing moments of his life, he recounts God’s repeated faithfulness throughout the generations.

Joshua then lays down the challenge, “Who will you serve?”

Three times the people proclaim, “We will serve the Lord!”

They created a stone memorial that would serve as a physical sign of their verbal covenant.

Sadly…. commitment and emotion of that day lasted only one generation. “Unlike their fathers, they quickly turned from the way in which their fathers had walked, the way of obedience to the Lord’s commands.” (Judges 2:17)

They were distracted by the foreigners around them. They fell into worship of false gods. They “refused to give up their evil practices and stubborn ways” (Judges 2:19) even when the Lord sent judge after judge after judge to remind them of their covenant.

My Distractions

I have stubborn ways and distractions, too. Many days I feel that I serve the distractions and their demands. At times, I have personified the”distractions” as the evil in my life.

“Distractions”, however, is a mere word (please excuse the awkward plural here!). It is not a person, place, or thing that asks something of me.

Emails, social media, meetings, phone calls all beckon in response to my activities, my children’s activities, household needs and work and family. But these remain choices.

And, as Joshua challenged the nation of Israel… I need to choose for myself this day whom will I serve?? (Joshua 24:15)

We make hundreds of choices every day!

I choose to spend time on emails and phone calls.

I choose meetings to attend.

I choose activities to participate in.

I am fully aware that some things are non-negotiable: work, cleaning, eating. But we choose how to go about the needs. Hard choices, indeed. But choices nonetheless.

Your Turn

Decide now … who will you serve?

Choose to be a disciple instead of the common goals of people pleasing, ladder climbing, gossip knowing, youthful appearing, and prosperous living.

God is faithful. He alone is to be pursued.

Posted by Sharon R. Hoover

photo credit: cambodia4kidsorg via photo pin cc


About Sharon R Hoover

Serving the church for over twenty years in discipleship and mission ministries, I've walked alongside many people travelling and exploring the journey of faith. Add in my own crazy path and I hope my writing will offer glimpses of life worth sharing.
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2 Responses to Distractions Become Choices

  1. Excellent reminder and guidance. Thank you Sharon. I shall endeavour to ‘take action’ and see the distractions for what they are.

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