Death by Distraction
Colossians 2:18,19 Let no one disqualify you, insisting on asceticism and worship of angels . . . not holding fast to . . . God.
As we are practice driving with our kids, we frequently attempt to impress upon them the reality that little distractions can have drastic consequences. No phone. Don’t mess with the radio. Eyes on the road. Don’t get distracted, even for a second.
I am, of course, reminded of my own hypocrisy as I am so easily distracted in driving and in life. I know that the purpose of my life is to focus continually on God, but my attention is easily diverted. It is not always an obvious evil that sidetracks me. It is often the good things in life that rob from the best.
I can, in my pursuit of sobriety, elevate AA to my religion. I can, in my attempt to help others, put my blog’s success above my walk with God. My family can become more important that my faith. Even church can consume my energies, robbing from my pursuit of God.
Paul, in today’s passage, said that we must not allow ourselves to be distracted by anything. He said that even religion can become evil if we elevate the rules above all, following a self-made religion. . . of no value in stopping the indulgence of the flesh (Col. 2:23). We must always keep our eyes on the creator, not the creation. As with driving, anything that distracts is destructive and deadly.
If I were the devil, I would find profound success in keeping Christians distracted from the pursuit of God while thinking they were living the normal Christian life. The more benign and harmless the distraction, the better, as long as it paralyzed the Christian from a vibrant relationship with the father. If I could get a disciple to pursue something good above God, my job would be done.
As in driving, I must continually focus on that which truly matters. Even small, harmless pursuits can be deadly and destructive if I allow them to seduce my gaze from the father.