This Christmas: Not Everything That Interrupts Us Is A Distraction

You know who you are:  you’re running around, stressed out, worried about gifts, frantic, and overwhelmed. Sometimes, we even get a bit angry and snap at anyone who interrupts our list of things to do before Christmas. But I saw a Twitter post this week that brought me back to reality:  “This year was the worst,” declares an alive human using a mobile device on WiFi while eating food and drinking clean water in warm house.”  Yes, distractions are frustrating for us productive types.

We live in the most distracted age in the history of the world. If you’ve read this blog for very long, you know the stats – we’re checking our email incessantly, focused on social media, always driven by the fear that we might just be missing something. In fact, in my experience over the last decade, most people don’t fail because they’re not qualified, don’t work hard enough, or are incompetent. Today, most people fail simply because they get distracted.

However, in our obsession to manage distractions we should never forget that some interruptions are not distractions at all.  The New Testament book of Mark, Chapter 10, tells the story of Bartimaeus, a blind beggar. As Jesus and his followers walked by, he cried out for Jesus to have pity on him. But For Jesus’ disciples, he was an insignificant blind man who they considered an distraction. They most likely tried to shut him up and keep the group moving, because they had more important things to accomplish.

But for Jesus, Bartimaeus was an interruption worth stopping for. Jesus took the time to call him over and changed the man’s life forever.

The question is – what are the good distractions you’re missing in your relentless pursuit of productivity?

What about that homeless person at the intersection?
The guy with the bell and red kettle for the Salvation Army?
The new employee in the office with questions?
The neighbor who’s having a hard time?
The single person alone at Christmas?

Chances are, we all see “distractions” like that everyday, but because of our well meaning desire to be productive, fail to notice.  This Christmas, take the time to remember that not everything that interrupts us, is a distraction.

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  1. Often my daughter can be a distraction, but then I think about how she will only be this age for so long, so I set my real distraction aside and spend time with what is most important. I am thankful (though in the first moment annoyed) for her interruption.

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