Characterized by distraction

“Don’t let your life be characterized by distraction.”

I wrote that in my journal Tuesday morning. I’m not sure why.

I mean, I know that I wrote it as I was taking some notes on a mentor’s last letter to his closest follower. A couple blank lines later, I wrote “Timothy, let your life be characterized by a wholehearted devotion to…” And then I didn’t finish.

That’s what my journal looks like. Many short sentences, incomplete thoughts. I’m working out conversations with God, with you, with myself, with others. And I think it’s okay to have a place for drafts of thoughts. But sometimes I wish I finished those thoughts better. So I would know the context of my thinking.

“Don’t let your life be characterized by distraction.”

I cannot find any specific sentences in 2 Timothy that would have triggered my comment. But the specificity of Paul’s reminders to Timothy blaze a trail through distraction. He calls for focus, from the early affirmation of self-discipline: “For the Spirit God gave us does not make us timid, but gives us power, love and self-discipline,” to the reminder about the distraction of argument: “Warn them before God against quarreling about words; it is of no value, and only ruins those who listen,” to the call to consistency and fidelity: “But as for you, continue in what you have learned and have become convinced of, because you know those from whom you learned it,” to the final charge: “But you, keep your head in all situations, endure hardship, do the work of an evangelist, discharge all the duties of your ministry.”

A person who followed these directions would be characterized by direction, not distraction.

We’ll always be distracted. But I don’t want to be remembered for wandering off, for drifting away. Not any more.

4 thoughts on “Characterized by distraction

  1. Chris Gattis

    How do you know so much about me? You write these posts directly for my benefit, it seems. Another great lesson. This is one I particularly struggle with. Thanks Jon.

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  2. Pingback: More about distractions | 300 words a day

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