Wednesday, April 16, 2014

The Writing on the Wall: Focusing on Distractions

by Deb Baker/Hannah Reed

Distractions are easy. They come in all kinds of shapes and forms, large and small. Most of the time,
we don’t even realize we’ve been distracted until it’s over, until its sucked away time we could be spending on more important things.

I learned that lesson in church last Sunday. This week is Holy Week. Christians celebrate the events leading up to and including the resurrection of Jesus Christ. My pastor asked us to focus on the real meaning of Holy Week by putting aside the things that distraction us. We were encouraged to come up to the front of the church where glass panels had been erected, pick up a magic marker, and write one distraction that we might work on resisting for a few days so that we could focus more on the true meaning of Holy Week. Parishioners began rising and making their way up.

Well, you know me. Ms. Introvert. I sit way in a corner in the back. I’m an observer, not a participator, so I decided I wasn’t doing it.

Besides, I wasn’t sure what I would write on the wall. But geez, a lot of people were going up. I started to wonder what they were writing, what their distractions were. Hunh. The snoop in me was becoming more powerful than the introvert.

The line at the wall was thinning out. If I didn’t go up and check out the wall now, I’d lose my chance. (It didn’t cross my mind that I could do it after church).

I found myself rising, walking down the aisle, without a clue what I might write, but strangely, I wasn’t concerned. I approached the wall, bent and picked up a marker, scanned the wall. Many had written job, family drama, texting, television, facebook.

None seemed to be my main distraction, although I really love facebook. Plagiarism wasn't going to work, since no way was I about to lie in church.

I raised the marker. And wrote a word.


Then I hustled back to my corner, thinking, 'Did I really mean the whole Internet?' That one word I'd written sort of surprised me! Back home, the first thing I did was trot straight over to my computer. Where I paused and reconsidered. Why was I logging on? I’d checked my email, favorite websites, etc. before church. I decided not to.

Granted, I’ve been on the Internet in the days since, but for much less time and with much more awareness. 

So I encourage you to do the same. Write your biggest, baddest distraction on a wall. Or better yet, save your wall, and write it in the comment section. By focusing on that distraction for the time it takes to write it down, you might just set yourself free for the things that really count.