Have you ever gotten distracted? I see it happen to students all the time. They have a research project to do so they faithfully and diligently turn to their computers to begin. About fifteen minutes into the research they come across a related article, video, perhaps game and they check it out. This leads to another link and then another. About three hours later they realize they haven't accomplished anything on their project. I also know a lot of adults who can relate to this.
Distractions happen when we don't keep our goal in mind or in front of us. If I have ten days to drive across Canada but keep stopping at every interesting site or turning off to go on some grand adventure, I am either going to arrive much later or not at all. Deadlines help a little bit to keep us on track but the goal itself, the destination, the importance of the final product will be the true motivation. If we forget the purpose of the journey then we will probably become distracted.
However, the level of the importance of our goal is also a determining factor for staying on target. If your school project is not worth anything but is only a learning exercise you may have a different attitude toward it than if it was worth 75% of your term. If I have 30 days to complete my trip across Canada with no real importance to completing it I will have a different attitude than if I have 7 days to get to a relatives wedding. Unfortunately some of us on our Christian walk act more like a person on vacation than people who are attending a wedding.
Too many of us have a laid back attitude about the resurrection and our eternity. We act as if it is a second rate goal, something we do not need to keep in front of us, and because that is our attitude we keep getting distracted. We keep allowing other things to pull us off the trail. We wander around aimlessly for a while, realize our mistake, get back on the path and then get distracted again. Can I tell you, our resurrection is a big deal. The shedding of these mortal bodies for the immortal will be a great highlight in our eternity. Entering into God's glory and beginning our real life, one that will surpass all the pleasures of this life by a billion percent, is something we should always keep in front of us. We have a grand destination. Scripture tells us that keeping this in mind, remembering it is our destination should be a motivation to keep on keeping on:
Therefore, my dear brothers and sisters, stand firm. Let nothing move you. Always give yourselves fully to the work of the Lord, because you know that your labor in the Lord is not in vain. (1 Corinthians 15:58)
This life we are living (our journey) is not without purpose or destination. It is not a matter of "eat and drink for tomorrow we die". In fact, this is just a precursor, a small journey we must take before we step into the full extent of God's reality. There is a lot to do along the way on this beautiful journey but we need to stand firm in what we know and in the tasks we have been given. We can't let anything distract us or persuade us to take a detour. We have to fix our eyes on Jesus as he bids us move forward.
The destination is the most important thing but the journey itself is also full of purpose. We have been given work to do along the way by our Lord Jesus. We are told to give ourselves fully to it. This means 100% concentration on the task at hand so we can reach that destination. Unfortunately we are far too distracted. The Lord's work is a hobby, something we work at in our spare time. We have weighed ourselves down with so many things but the Spirit is calling us back to renewal. He is showing us how to get out of the detour and back on the path. He is wanting to lighten the baggage that we have been carrying that slows us down. He wants us to travel light, to not get connected to anything here, to bring along as many people as we can, to send ahead our treasures of good works, kindnesses, acts of love. He wants us to arrive in style, where our Lord will welcome us with a "Well done my good and faithful servant, enter into my rest".
I urge you, examine your journey. Do you have the destination in mind? Do you know what work has been given to you to do? Have you gotten distracted at all? Is there anything that has become more important to you than Jesus himself? What has your attention? What are your priorities? Do they reflect your work, your journey, your destination? Stand form my friends, let nothing move you.