25 Jul 2008
The Gracious Mistress of the Parsonage and Yours Truly were having a rather lively discussion last Tuesday. I will not say I was loosing but I sure was not winning this argument. Actually, the next argument I win will be my first. I'm really looking forward to that, I can assure you.
The argument centered on the fact that I was easily distracted. The argument ran something like this; she said, "You are," and I said, "I'm not."
Along about the tenth round of the argument I lost track of what we were discussing.
"See," my wife asserted, "you're distracted right now."
When she is right, she is right.
I would like to set the record straight and say it is not that I am easily distracted but I indulge in a variety of interests. When you have a mind as busy as mine it is very difficult to stay with one thing for very long. That is my story and I am sticking to it.
I will not say that my wife does not have a busy mind but just that when she focuses on one thing she stays with that forever. Or, at least until she is happy with the outcome.
A wise old man once told me right after I got married, "Either, you can be happy or your wife can be happy but rarely does that happen at the same time. If you make sure she is happy, in the long run you'll be happy." I have never forgotten his advice.
This little discussion about my being distracted quite easily got me to thinking. Perhaps, and I am only musing here, there just might be a sliver of truth in the fact that I am easily distracted.
While I was thinking along these lines, I had to go to the gas station to fill up my car. As I pulled into one of the pumps, I noticed a little red VW bug at the next pump. My first car was a little white VW bug and it reminded me of that first car.
I went in and paid for my gas and when I came out the little red VW bug was surrounded by many men, mostly young men. I could not understand why these men would have such an interest in this little car. I know gas prices have gone through the roof and everybody is looking at ways to save on their gas bill. But I can hardly believe that these men were interested in trading their trucks in for a little VW bug.
What in the world, I thought to myself, would distract these men in such a large group? Maybe like me, their first car was a VW bug.
When I got closer, I noticed the owner of the little red VW bug. She was a very attractive young woman who delighted in all the attention she was receiving at the moment. She was giggling and explaining to her attentive audience the various features of the little red VW bug. They were hanging on to every word in breathtaking silence.
It was then that I understood what distracted all of these men. In fact, I had an overwhelming curiosity to go over, ask the young woman what year that little red VW bug was and tell her I had a 1961 white VW bug myself.
Instead, I got into my car and drove away thinking about distractions. I will not press the point with my wife when I get home, but she is entirely wrong about distractions. I would like to tell her that life is filled with delightful distractions.
If it were not for these marvelous distractions, life would be a rather dull little puppy. If you keep your "nose to the grindstone," as my wife suggests, you only end up with a sore nose.
I readily admit that the ability to appreciate a distraction is a marvelous gift from God. Many of these delightful distractions deliver us from the mundane elements of life. Life is more exciting because of the variety of distractions we encounter along the pathway.
Of course, I would readily admit that we need to be discriminatory in our distractions. Not every distraction is of the wholesome kind. Not every distraction is worth a moment's notice. And some do more harm than good.
The discriminatory mind is able to appreciate the delightful distractions life offers. I guess some of us possess a larger capacity to appreciate the variety of distractions all around us.
My wife and I will never come to complete agreement on the subject because by the time she is making her third and final point I have been distracted by something else. But, whatever makes her happy will benefit me in the long run. And, it is the long run that really counts.
Of course, there is a negative side to this world of distraction. If the enemy of our soul can distract us from the things of God he is winning the battle. We need to be careful of what is really distracting us and what it is distracting us from.
I often take refuge in a marvelous passage of Scripture. "For the LORD knoweth the way of the righteous: but the way of the ungodly shall perish." (Psalms 1:6 KJV)
My walk with God has been a zigzag course made beautiful by the variety of distractions along the way.
Rev. James L. Snyder