There will be distractions.

Sometimes I can make the application for us. Today I can’t. But you may be able to.

I read two things Monday morning.

1. Interruptions make us less effective writers.

2. Paul made every effort to see a small church he started, “but Satan stopped us.”

The research shows that when writing essays that have a deadline, random interruptions during the outlining or writing phases result in poorer essays. Arguments are not developed as well, ideas are not explained clearly, thinking is choppy.

In this research, the interruptions came from the experimenters. And the researchers are quick to clarify that they are talking about things that interrupt the flow of thinking, not our intentionally moving from project to project.

Paul’s essay says that he wanted to get back to Thessalonica to teach, to encourage, to equip. But though he tried several times, he was interrupted and resisted. So he did two things. He prayed for them and he feared for them.  And when he couldn’t stand it, he sent Timothy to find out how they were doing. (Turns out they were doing fine. It seems that God was doing fine in helping them grow without Paul around.)

I’m not saying that every interruption to our writing, our helping, or anything else we do to live out our divinely directed calling is Satan’s action. I am suggesting that sometimes it is.

There are a hundred things from inside and outside of our heads that interrupt us. Some of them we can address by shutting people out for awhile, others we can address by working on our concentration. But Paul suggests that even when we are doing everything we can, there may be someone intent on disrupting our work for God.

I gotta run. I’ll let you make connections.

And I’ll pray for you.

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About Jon Swanson

Social media chaplain. Author of "Lent For Non-Lent People" and "A Great Work: A Conversation With Nehemiah For People (Who Want To Be) Doing Great Works." Writer of 300wordsaday.com. I help people understand. Understand some of the Bible. Understand what Lent can be about. Understand what it means to follow.

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