“For those who live according to the flesh set their minds on the things of the flesh, but those who live according to the Spirit set their minds on the things of the Spirit.”
– Romans 8:5
When I was in the second grade, my dad decided that he would pay my brothers and me to pull dandelions and weeds out of our yard. He told us that he would pay us a penny for each a weed we pulled. We were so excited about making some money! We got screw drivers out of the garage and started pulling weeds–root and all. We were really going to town with pulling the weeds and, of course, making sure to count the money for each weed pulled when, all of the sudden, my dad came outside. He said, “Get back in your own yard. Get out of the neighbor’s yard!” The neighbor’s weeds and dandelions were a lot closer together than the ones in our yard, so it made it easier and faster for us to make more money. As kids, it was easy for us to get distracted and enticed by what someone else had. Because of the plentiful weeds in our neighbor’s yard, our focus was taken off of what our father had asked us to do which was pull the weeds from our own yard.
As adults, it’s easy to get distracted by what God has blessed others with. We forget about the wonderful blessings that God has given us. Most of us have heard the saying, “The grass looks greener on the other side of the fence.” There are many examples of individuals in the Bible who became distracted. Eve was deceived by the serpent; Sampson, who had supernatural strength from the Lord, made many bad decisions and suffered the consequences; and even Martha was distracted by all of the preparations while Mary sat at Jesus’ feet.
The Bible also tells us of David, the man after God’s own heart in 2 Samuel 11:1-27. In the spring, when the kings go off to war, David sent Joab with the king’s men and Israelite army. They destroyed the Ammonites and besieged Rabbah, but David stayed in Jerusalem. While in Jerusalem, one evening David got up from his bed and walked around the palace roof. From the roof, he saw a beautiful woman bathing. David decided to send someone to find out about her. The man told him that she was Bathsheba, the daughter of Eliam and the wife of Uriah the Hittite. David sent messengers to get Bathsheba, she came to him and he slept with her.
I would venture to say that David had most likely been on the roof many times, but he let Satan use this particular time to distract him. Most likely this became a distraction much sooner, but he never acted on it. Either way, his focus was taken off of what God wanted him to do. After several times of trying to cover up this situation, David had one more idea and that was to place Uriah, Bathsheba’s husband, on the front lines knowing that his chances of death were great. In 2 Samuel 11:17, Uriah dies. David became even more distracted by trying to cover up the first issue with Bathsheba, and then focused on having Uriah killed.
Much like the dandelion story, our neighbor’s yard was much more enticing because we could make more money. Although we may, at times, struggle to rise above the distractions in our life, we do not need to struggle alone. God is here, eternal and faithful, with infinite patience and love. If we reach out to Him, He will restore our sense of perspective and give peace to our souls.
Pray: Lord, help me to be thankful for the way you have blessed me. Give me the wisdom to focus, not on the distractions of the moment or the things of this world, but on the priorities that matter. Help me to keep my focus on You. Today and every day, Father, guide my thoughts and guard my heart. Lord, remind me daily to glorify You with my life, to share my faith, and to make disciples. In Jesus name. Amen.
First Baptist Broken Arrow