The Distraction

Sunday, October 15, 2023
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Listen while you read: "Lord I'm Coming Home"1 (Lyrics)

1 Corinthians 7:35 – And this I say for your own profit, not that I may put a leash on you, but for what is proper, and that you may serve the Lord without distraction. (NKJV)

As I was putting the vacuum cleaner away, I noticed that the retractable cord was not retracting as it should. It went only so far and then came to a halt, leaving several feet of cord still lying on the floor. I gave it a little jerk and stepped on the rewind button again, but nothing happened. I went to check out what was going on. It turned out that a little cat named Earl Grey had discovered this moving cord to be a great distraction for him as he held it tightly between his little paws.

Today's Scripture, written by the apostle Paul, is part of a message on the subject of marriage. He was warning believers that though marriage could be a good and wonderful thing, it could also be a distraction to them in regard to serving the Lord with an undivided heart. Paul was wise enough to understand that not all distractions are sinful, for almost any good thing in our lives can become a distraction that can displace God from His rightful place: first place.

Hobbies, friends, children, television, books, technology, money, and much more can easily consume our time and energy. What started out as a good thing can become a distraction in our spiritual lives. Prayer time is set aside. Corporate worship gives way to that sports event that is being aired live. Reading and study yield to more interesting things. God gets sixty seconds of our time before we go to sleep at night, after spending two hours playing games on our iPad, and so the scenario goes. The good things of this world can infringe upon our relationship with the Lord, often before we know what has even happened. As one person has penned, "When the enemy sends distractions, they never look like distractions until they are finished distracting you." Another gives this wisdom: "If the enemy can't destroy you, he will distract you."

Earl likes to grab hold of my vacuum cleaner cord. It is a fun distraction for him, but distractions that displace our heavenly Father in our lives don't leave us entertained for very long. Instead, they bring about a disruption in the closeness of our walk with Christ and the Holy Spirit. Pretty soon, we are not hearing that still small voice of wisdom, assurance, direction, and comfort. God seems farther away than He once was. We wonder whether He even cares. Worry and fears begin to creep in as our minds focus more on them than on the One Who is able to calm us and give us peace and rest amidst our daily struggles. The One from Whom we have been drawn away is patiently and quietly waiting for our return. "Come near to God and he will come near to you." (James 4:8 NIV)

Let's think carefully about who or what it is that we are drawing near to today.

Prayer: Father God, You and You alone deserve first place in our lives. Grant us wisdom and strength to keep our lives centred upon You amidst all the good and evil distractions that this life sets before us. May we walk wholeheartedly with Jesus each and every day, always drawing closer to You. In His name, we pray. Amen.

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About the author:

Lynne Phipps <>
Tawatinaw, Alberta, Canada

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1 Comment

  • PresbyCan Feedback says:

    Wonderful prayer Lynne. God Bless.

    Thank you, Lynne, for this excellent advice.

    Thank you, Lynne. Blessings on your devotional moments.

    Thanks for writing, Lynne. May we always have that peace.

    Again, a very good devotion that helps me through my day. Blessings to you.

    Good morning!
    This is another great one to keep us on our toes and our nose in the Word.
    God bless.

    Hi Lynne
    Thanks for today’s devotional. It spoke to me and gave me the wake up call I needed. Much appreciated.

    What a good devotional for such a time that we live in. It is important to know who we are drawing close to. Thank you for writing and sharing your insight today. Keep writing.

    Thank you, Lynne, for your reminder!! I have really missed your devotionals in the past months and was just thinking since your move out of our BC, you’re not writing anymore! Blessings to you, you are back!!

    Dear Lynne,
    We had not heard about your Earl Gray before, but he has been helpful in teaching us a great lesson about lessening our distractions in order to centre our thoughts on the LORD.
    Many thanks.

    Thank you so much for this devotional. So often, too often, it has been my experience that good aspects of my very full life occupy a bigger place than my relationship with God, particularly family with 5 young grandchildren and the most recent baby a few months ago. But thankfully we can always correct the balance.

    Good Morning, Lynne!
    I am guilty as charged! My iPad gets far more attention than what it should, sadly. Often, a waste of valuable time! Sometimes, our errors in life need pointing out, so thanks for the nudge. Keep writing those devotions, please.
    With Thanks,

    Hello Lynne,
    Who knew, “almost any good thing in our lives can become a distraction”?
    There’s the rub, (to borrow from Shakespeare). One answer is better choices. But who wins that conflict? … anyhow. You can see that your pithy and well-constructed devotional seized my attention. One determines (aided by a higher power) to press towards the mark and avoid sin.
    Thank you for your gift.

    Many thanks Lynne for another of your very mindful devotionals. Yes, we certainly can get easily distracted today with the variety of activities and varieties of modern technological items available to us. We really need to centre our thoughts and actions upon our loving Lord and His ever-present availability to us. He is the one to give us the best help and guidance under any circumstance. Blessings for these special writings you do, and I love the way you co-ordinate an action of one of your pets with a reminder of the importance of having the Lord as priority in our daily lives.

    Hi Lynne
    Those little distractions can sometimes become big distractions. We can so easily be distracted before we are even aware of it. I have to watch for two distractions in my life, one is football and the other is hockey. Fortunately, I only watch two teams, the B,C. Lions football team and the Vancouver Canucks hockey team, but in football we are getting down close to playoff time and the playoffs happen on Sunday, which means I have to be diligent to spend time worshiping the Lord before watching my team play in the playoffs.
    When cheering on my team, I must remember to put Jesus ahead of my desire for my team to win.
    Thank you for this timely reminder.

    Hi Lynne,
    Once more you hit the nail on the head…distractions! Yikes.
    AND I love the name “Earl Grey” for your cat. Our neighbor had several cats and the last to arrive (all are strays) came into their yard on Veterans Day in the US and consequently he carries the name “Murphy,” after Audie Murphy, A Texan who was World War 11’s most decorated soldier. Well Murphy does not play well with others (cats), and he is now ours. I wouldn’t dream of changing his name. He and our dog who is also very aptly named more or less get along by ignoring each other.
    Your writings are always meaningful…thank you.

    Thank you for your devotional! It pinpointed a concern on my heart that I couldn’t quite put into words. I so appreciate your perspective on our needs.

    Earl Grey! Great name for a cat!
    Your devotional hits hard as my regular study takes me through Ecclesiastes – groan!
    But today I made the decision not to be distracted, stuck with it and there were many “nuggets”.
    Bless you, dear Lynne!

    Hi Lynne,
    I truly enjoyed your looking at how positive and negative things can be a distraction for us. It can happen without us really realizing it. Your description really makes it stand out. How do I choose to spend my time?
    I also found it interesting that your cat wants to go near the vacuum cleaner. I have only had dogs and they don’t want to be anywhere near a vacuum.
    Thanks for helping me to think that positive things can be distractions from building my relationship with God. Blessings.

    Thank you, Lynne! I so enjoy your devotionals. They always have a strong message for me. May God richly bless you!

    Good morning, Lynne,
    Thanks to you and Earl Grey for a very rich and thoughtful devotion.
    Your reflection was what I needed this morning.
    The Peace of Christ be with you.

    Thank you for sharing this encouraging devotional with us. Just read it again so that I’ve been twice blessed. Blessings.

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