“What are you doing?”, I asked my daughter. “I’m brushing my hair.”, she responded.
At this point, I don’t know if I should laugh or cry. “What are you supposed to be doing?”, I inquired. “Cleaning the playroom, but I got bored.”, she replied. I send her back to her assignment of cleaning and hoping this time she would be obedient.
As an adult and parent, it is easy to see how children get distracted and not follow through with obedience. There is an underlying truth that we don’t share. As adults, we get distracted too. Why do we get distracted? Generally, it is not out of malicious intent. We are not choosing outright rebel with the task at hand. We become distracted because of boredom.
Boredom is dangerous to obedience. Whether it is obedience to a supervisor, a spouse, parent, teacher, traffic laws, or event to God. Being obedient is boring and we rather do something more fun or at least something else to occupy our time.
Let me remind you that even the great heros of the Bible got distracted. After Jesus’ resurrection, He gave the disciples instructions to wait in Jerusalem. It is interesting that in John 21, Peter’s boredom brings a distraction to their obedience to Jesus.
“‘I’m going fishing,’ Simon Peter said to them. ‘We’re coming with you,’ they told Him. They went out and got into the boat, but that night they caught nothing.” (John 21:3)
Peter tired of waiting, become bored, and decided to go fishing. This is a very understandable distraction. The ice is melting and some of us can’t wait for the distraction of fishing on the lakes. But notice his distraction brought others with him. Peter was not following instructions and brought others into disobedience with him.
God has given us all a circle of influence. Some of us have a great circle and some a small circle. It doesn’t matter the size of the circle; God has called us as followers of Jesus to be an example of Christ in that circle. I hear all the time from my girls, “I’m doing it because my sister is doing it.” I sometimes wonder what God thinks when we too become distracted.
Don’t become discouraged, we all get distracted. The key truth is how do we handle the distractions. How do we respond when God redirects us in our distractions?
Notice how the story unfolds in John 21. Jesus meets Peter and the disciples while they are being distracted with fishing. Jesus doesn’t condemn them. In fact He gives them instructions to catch the fish. Then Jesus reorients them back to their assignment. In Peter’s case, Jesus reminds him to “Feed My sheep.”
Distractions will occur while we are following Jesus. Be encouraged that Jesus loves you no matter the level of your distraction. If we listen to His teachings and corrections the result will be faithful obedience.