Distractions, they’re everywhere, both intentional and unintentional.  However, no matter how grand or minuscule they may seem, they can have deadly consequences.  I remember in the seventh grade there was a girl in my 1st hour class named Jennifer Marie Frair.  She didn’t have a two family home, I don’t even recall her having a 1 parent home.  I want to say she lived with her grandmother.  She didn’t have the best clothes, some even said she looked “dirty”.  She was also going through that awkward phase that most teenage girls do and she going through her “blossom” phase (she had a really large chest).  So, the guys in our class would always tease her about it and make fun of her.  But none of these reasons are the reason I noticed her.  I noticed her because I viewed her as direct competition scholar wise – the girl was SMART.  She was smart without even trying.  We shared one of my favorite classes together – Geography.  I’d take my book home and study the maps on the bus ride home, in my bed before going to sleep and again on the bus ride going to school, all in an effort to be on my toes and challenge our teacher Mr. Jones (still one of my favorite teachers).  But, no matter how hard I studied, Jennifer would just out do me.  We’d have a test and she’d be the first one finished, me coming in second by five minutes.  We’d complete assignments I’d miss one or two questions and she’d hit it on the mark every time 100% correct.  So, I’d just look at her in awe.

We never became friends though because of distractions. Large and small distractions.  The small distractions were the rumors.  Gossip floated around that she dabbled in dark art or witchcraft with some of her friends. And truth or not, that gave me pause.  I didn’t know the origin of the rumor, nor was I interested in getting the bottom of it.  I was never rude to her, I tried not to get sucked into the gossip mill and I finally discovered something I was better at than her!  I skunked her in Art class (I know, I know, “Oooh Pooh you’re sooooo smart… Art)! She couldn’t draw very good at all, which made me warm and fuzzy inside because I was pretty good at it.  Funny enough we were assigned seats directly facing each other (long rectangular tables with chairs all around the sides) and were often paired together for that very reason.  One day we were assigned the task of making a portrait of each other. Just a simple pencil portrait nothing extravagant.  She struggled to make my eyes balanced, to get the correct shape of my nose, and with the alignment of my mouth and ears.  But I was able to draw her effortlessly.  Her long stringy hair, strawberry shortcake-cut bangs, freckles, almond shaped eyes, and thin lips. It was spot on. Mrs. Doyle was impressed with the likeness.  I was pretty proud of it too.  Jennifer and I laughed at the portrait of me and she was happy with the one I’d done of her.  It was one of one of my very first portraits and I kept it for a very long time (until after high school, I lost it during one of my moves).

Something that nullified anyway of us becoming anything more than classmates was a large distraction that occurred the summer after our seventh grade year.  Jennifer had decided to get a ride with friends in the back of a pickup, drinking  etc, doing what rebellious teens sometimes do and they got into a wreck.  She was the only one that died.  When school started back it was strange.  I just kept thinking about how she never probably thought that whatever she did that night and whomever she did it with would have led to her death.  It bothered me.  One distraction can had catastrophic results.

As I’ve gotten older, I’ve learned that some distractions aren’t that obvious.  You can only identify them if your looking for them, or think about whats happening that makes it,  whatever “it” is,  a distraction.  I’ve learned that some people are masters at distracting you.  You probably know a few people yourself.  People that can steal you blind, while talking to you in your face because they are distracting you with conversation. If you’re lucky and know absolutely no one like this, and are a movie person, then think of the movie “Focus” starring Will Smith.  There are a lot of distractions happening right now.  Obvious distractions to some, and oblivious to many!  It reminds me of something that a rapper recently kept saying over and over and over again during an interview (this person will remain nameless for SEVERAL reasons). It irritated me as he was saying it because the response wasn’t relevant to the line of questioning, — but the quote fits here.  What he kept repeating was,  “I don’t let the left hand know what the right hand is doing”.  People ARE being distracted with left hand (Media) and have no clue as to what’s really going on, what’s really happening with the right hand.

Proverbs 26:24 -26    24 Enemies disguise themselves with their lips, but in their hearts they harbor deceit.25 Though their speech is charming, do not believe them, for seven abominations fill their hearts.26 Their malice may be concealed by deception, but their wickedness will be exposed in the assembly.1

DO NOT BE DISTRACTED!!!  FOCUS!  If you are confused in anyway pray!  Allow God to guide you.  Remember though you have to LISTEN.  It’s not always going to be something you want to hear, so be quiet, not rebuttals, just listen and you will find understanding.

Philippians 3:15-16    15 All of us, then, who are mature should take such a view of things. And if on some point you think differently, that too God will make clear to you.  16 Only let us live up to what we have already attained.2

Proverbs 3:6  6 in all your ways submit to him, and he will make your paths straight.3

Keyword: Distractions.  Distractions come in many, many ways and forms.  Not just the media, not just your friends, and not just noise. If you find that you’re unable to make progress you have a distraction blocking you.  Identify that distraction and don’t entertain it. It can be something as small as your cellphone.  Think about it, how many deaths have been reported that come from the distraction of cell phones?  If you can’t think of any Google it.  You’ll find everything from texting while driving, to walking on a snake while on a phone and getting bit, to stepping out into traffic and dying while being distracted by a cell phone.  Another distraction is alcohol, if you’re not of sober mind you are definitely distracted which can lead to a whole host of unexpected problems.

1 Peter 5:8  8 Be alert and of sober mind. Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour.4

Arguing is a distraction.  I try to avoid it when possible (now, I’ll debate you all day long!) because when you’re arguing somebody isn’t listening, and if somebody isn’t listening, then nothing is going to get resolved.  I hear some people say, “I need distractions to take my mind off of XYZ”.  If you’re looking for a distraction, go into prayer it’s an excellent distraction and you usually feel good, refreshed and rejuvenated afterwards!

Matthew 21:22  22 If you believe, you will receive whatever you ask for in prayer.”5

God bless you all. Watch out for those distractions.

  1. (KJV) Proverbs 26:24 -26   24 He that hateth dissembleth with his lips, and layeth up deceit within him; 25 When he speaketh fair, believe him not: for there are seven abominations in his heart. 26 Whose hatred is covered by deceit, his wickedness shall be shewed before the whole congregation.
  2. (KJV) Philippians 3:15-16    15 Let us therefore, as many as be perfect, be thus minded: and if in any thing ye be otherwise minded, God shall reveal even this unto you.  16 Nevertheless, whereto we have already attained, let us walk by the same rule, let us mind the same thing.
  3. (KJV) Proverbs 3:6   In all thy ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct thy paths.
  4. (KJV) 1 Peter 5:8  Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walketh about, seeking whom he may devour:
  5. (KJV) Matthew 21:22 22 And all things, whatsoever ye shall ask in prayer, believing, ye shall receive.

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