Welcome to the Christian life!
Throughout history we have tried to label each period of time to help us gain perspective on here we are today. [~from an American point of view.]
· Classic and Postclassic eras, Central America (200–1519
· Early Intermediate, Mid-Horizon, Late Intermediate, Late Horizon
· Baroque (New World, 1600–1750)
· Spanish hegemony (Americas, 16th century – 1820s)
· Reconstruction era (United States, 1865–1877)
· Gilded Age (United States, 1875–1900)
· Progressive Era (United States, 1890s–1920s)
· Information Age (United States, 1970–present)
· Modern age
· Postmodern age
To this auspicious (capricious?) list allow me to add a descriptor for our present era— the DISTRACTION AGE. From the magnitude of assaults throughout our INFORMATION AGE Western cultures have learned to tune out yet one more piece of data, one more set of facts or figures, one more piece of evidence, pro or con, about something, anything. ERGO…, the DISTRACTION AGE.
Pick a movie, a TV show, a paperback novel, they are all examples of our desire for the trivial, the fantasy. Not ALL such leisure activities are mere distraction: some actually enhance our life’s goals; that is, if you even think in life-goal terms. Most of us simply get up, get ready for work, work, eat dinner, watch anything on TV and go to bed. REPEAT. It’s no wonder we seek something to distract us. Did you see that bear?!? What bear?
Similarly, there are periods in our Christian walk of faith where we get distracted. Sometimes, they are the guileless distractions that most of us need just to stay sane. But some of us make the Christian journey extremely intense. There is something to be said for those who understand that their sins are truly forgiven. There is also something to be said for those who devote their lives to prayer & fasting.
But for many of us, certain distractions are cleverly woven into our lives by our Lord’s adversary. Call it what you will, evil, the devil, Satan, Belzebub…, it all stems from the same source.
Remember what our Lord said in Scripture? “The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I came that they may have life, and have it abundantly. [John 10:10-29, NASB] To kill, steal, and destroy. That bastard! [Seems more appropriate a descriptor than simply the devil.]
It is a misreading of Scripture to believe that we are to concentrate on the things of God 24/7. We have to eat, sleep, work, care for our own and for others. The point is that we delight in Christ and his work on the Cross…, and not to be distracted by marginal activities. Major assualts, however, must be confronted with ferocity.
Simple suggestion: try reading the chapter of Proverbs that corresponds with the date every morning. That should recommend some wise perspectives for living throughout your day. Then read the chapter of the Psalms that corresponds with the date each evening. In this way you can reflect on your day, morning and evening through God’s eyes. [And, yes, I know there are 150 Psalms. You work it out.]
Delighting, less distracted,