Do you suffer from worry and distraction?

The Lord answered her, ‘Martha, Martha, you are worried and distracted by many things.’ -Luke 10:41

Sleepy two-lane roads along gorgeous meadows, streams and woodlands brought me to my meeting at a quaint church in the Appalachian foothills. But getting out of my car, I honestly could not remember much about the journey.

Of course I had driven responsibly and safely – that wasn’t an issue – but I had been too worried and distracted about the upcoming meeting to pay attention to the beautiful. How much more enjoyable the trip would have been if I relaxed and enjoyed the sights along the way?

In our crazy times, with problems and dangers all around, it’s easy to become so worried and distracted that we miss the beauty of life unfolding all around. Like poor Martha, too preoccupied with playing the perfect hostess to be fully present with Jesus in her very home, we miss so much.

Throughout his gospel, Luke warns us about worry and distraction. It’s a key stewardship issue because worry and distraction can blind our awareness, impede our spiritual growth and poison our lives.

In the parable of the sower, it’s the thorny “cares and riches and pleasures of life” that prevent a batch of seeds from bearing fruit (Luke 8:14). In another parable, guests decline the invitation to the Kingdom of God’s great feast, worried or distracted by their business and personal lives (Luke 14:18-20).

What “Martha Moments” have you experienced lately? How can we instead have more “Mary Moments”?

-Pray. Ask God to give you wisdom, strength and discipline.
-Slow down. Do you need to be in a rush 24/7? Save speed for when it’s really needed.
-Focus. Multi-tasking is overrated. Do one thing at a time. Do it well. Do it carefully.
-Pay attention. What’s going on that is worthy of your attention?
-Prioritize. Put first things first, last things last.
-Pray. As you began, continue with prayer, never ceasing.

(Photo: “More signs” by Chadica is licensed under CC BY 2.0)

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