what we allow to distract us

Recently, I was a guest speaker at a church. Me and my wife sat talking before the service and noticed a teenager reading magazines. Though he was several rows over and an isle away, I noticed one was about professional wrestling and another was about video games. I watched him throughout the singing and he remained firmly engrossed in the magazines and did not participate.

“Well,” I smiled to my wife. “It looks like I’ve got my work cut out for me. Let’s see if anything I say can actually get him to put those down.”

After the service my wife said to me, “Nothing. He stayed in those magazines the whole time.”

It’s not the first time. In fact, I’ve seen people write notes, read other material, and text through most of the service. Years ago, a young person actually brought headphones into the service. Nothing subtle about it. I could actually hear the music and had to ask them to turn it off.

I could be offended, but I’m not. If we are honest, we have all been there. We have all been the person who is too busy, too bored, or too immature to handle the message. Maybe you never opened up a magazine, but you checked out of the message. You failed to hear what God was trying to say to you, you read a page of the Bible and at the end of the page you have no idea what you just read.

We have an infinite number of distractions to make our minds drift from the truth we are supposed to be taking in. We have to learn to put the phone down, turn off the TV, and close the magazine. We have to be prepared to hear what God might tell us.

But in a world where we refuse to shut off the steady stream of noise, that is hard to do.

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