"We must pay more careful attention, therefore, to what we have heard, so that we do not drift away." (Hebrews 2:1, NIV)
“I’m deactivating my Facebook account!”
The words were spoken with gravity and resolve. The young Native woman I was talking to had returned home to the Red Lake Reservation after spending her first year of college in South Dakota. She had come home to take over caring for her 6-year-old son.
“It’s just a big distraction for me. I can spend hours scrolling down my Facebook account, finding out what everybody else is doing. But my son needs me now! He needs a mom who’s paying attention to him, not one with her face stuck in a computer screen. And my little niece needs me, too, now that my sister has gone to jail for drugs and I have custody of my niece. These kids need me to focus on them so they feel loved! And you know what else? Since I’ve gotten off the computer, I’ve begun praying more and reading more from my Bible study books. And I feel way more calm and less stressful. It’s probably because I’m not all wrapped up in what other people are doing and just focusing on what I’m supposed to do—caring for these kids and staying close to God!”
Distractions. Focus. The words struck me with their weight. I couldn’t remember reading them in God’s Word, but the more I thought about it, the more I realized the Scriptures use other terms to teach us this important message.
Jesus said the seeds among the weeds were those “choked” (or distracted?) by the worries, riches and pleasures of this world. And Hebrews 12:1-2 tells us to “remove from our lives anything that would get in the way” (distract us?), and to “look only to Jesus” (focus!).
Lord Jesus, as we celebrate Your coming, help us to remove the distractions in our lives and to focus on You and what You want us to do. Amen.
- Rev. Mark Peske, Bemidji, Minnesota
Rev. Mark Peske served the Leech Lake region, sharing the Good News of Jesus Christ with the Ojibway people. You can get updates from Mark's ministry, as well as our other ministry locations, by subscribing to our monthly email newsletter here.