Staying Focused on What’s Important – by Pastor Pam Sutherland

The other day I was boiling a couple eggs to garnish a salad. I knew I should stay right there in the kitchen until they were done but I got distracted by other things that needed to be done. Awhile later I heard a loud POP and, you guessed it, eggshells were everywhere, and the eggs were ruined. The burnt smell lingered in the house even after the eggs were removed to the outside trashcan.

Distractions happen. People often joke about starting a project in one room, seeing something that belongs somewhere else, taking that something back and noticing another something out of place or needing to be done. Several hours later the original project is still waiting to be finished. Haven’t we all been there? If you haven’t, I admire your ability to focus on what is important.

In our Christian walk we can also lose focus and become distracted from our main purpose – telling others the Good News of Jesus and showing them in words and deeds how He has transformed our lives. It’s the devil’s favorite way to keep us from doing God’s will and being the people God has called us to be.

When our kids were in High School their team’s name (like Castlewood H.S. and many other high school and college teams) was the Blue Devils. Some church people decided that the name “devil” was inappropriate and somehow detrimental to the students and therefore, should be changed. They began a campaign, passing out flyers, asking people to sign a petition, and went before the school board to express their concerns over the name “devil” being associated with our children, and being worn on their apparel.

What was the outcome of all their efforts? People in the community were pitted against one another. arguing over their differing opinions. In the end, the name was not changed and more importantly, that distraction did nothing to bring honor to Jesus or further the cause of Christ. In fact, I believe it defamed the name “Christian” among non-believers.

No doubt their intentions were good and they were sincere in their zeal for their beliefs. But the truth is, when we allow the devil to distract us with unimportant issues and get our focus off where God is leading us, we often leave a smelly mess around us rather than the pleasing aroma of a genuine Gospel witness.

In Song of Solomon chapter 2, verse 15 we are told that it is the “little foxes that spoil the vine.” It’s those little irritations, those little distractions that cause us to lose focus and waste our time on things that don’t further the purposes of God. What is it in your life that is distracting you from what God has called you to do?

My prayer for us is that we stay focused on what truly is important and don’t allow the the “little foxes” to distract us from our purpose – sharing the Good News of Jesus!

Grace and peace,
Pastor Pam

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