I pulled in behind a large SUV and got out my member and debit cards to be ready for my turn to pump gas. Nothing was happening at the pump in front of me, so I assumed the person might have finished and would be leaving soon. I waited patiently a couple more minutes, and it dawned on me that the driver had not even begun to do what they had supposedly come there to do, to pump gas. A minute or so later, the person got out, and with no acknowledgment they had kept me waiting, began the process, and got back into their vehicle. When the pump kicked off, they casually got out, took their time to put some trash in the receptacle, finalized the transaction, and drove away.
I admit I was somewhat offended by this person’s lack of courtesy. More than that, this incident got me thinking about what was possibly behind her lack of good manners. I choose to believe she is probably a nice person and was not deliberately trying to wield her power over me. Putting that aside, I think she was dealing with something that tends to snag each of us at times; she allowed something to distract her from why she was at the gas station.
While it may not be the same with you, sometimes the things others do that offend me are things I also do. The underlying issue is a distraction. For example, I may become distracted when I should be listening. A thought of an unfinished task intrudes to distract me when I am supposed to be praying. I go into another room and don’t remember what I came to do because I allow my mind to wander from my purpose of going there.
Go with me to a deeper level of thinking about living a distracted life. As His followers, Jesus calls us to put Him first and to love others as we love our self (Matthew 22:36-40). That is our purpose in being here. Are you sitting distracted at the gas pump, or are you pumping gas?
You need to continually pay attention to three things if you don’t want to be distracted and miss out on the abundant life Jesus has promised you. First, remember who you belong to and why you are here. Second, recognize that the enemy wants to make you ineffective and distract you from your mission. Put aside anything in your life that causes you to be distracted from God’s will to conform you to the likeness of Jesus (Hebrews 12:1, Romans 8:29). Third, be proactive and get your life focused on how to honor God by the way you love Him, yourself, and others. Create daily habits and rhythms in your life that keep you focused on giving your life as an offering to Him (Romans 12:1).
What is distracting you? What can you do to minimize the distractions that can keep you from giving your best to Christ and others?
Let me know what you think.