I love Nintendo.
My love affair started on my seventh birthday when my Grandma bought me the first Nintendo, the NES. Since then, I have owned every consol that Nintendo has put out (except for the hard to find Virtual Boy).
Now, of course, I pull out the Wii and stay up late playing Super Mario Bros. and Golden Eye. Sometimes I look at the clock and realize that I have been playing for several hours.
It can be easy to live in distraction.
I think we all have distractions that we run to. For some of us it’s video games.
For some of us its money or television or books or Facebook or partying or drinking or music or movies or relationships or our jobs or our grades or food or gossip or shopping or sleeping.
The list goes on and on.
I tend to live in my distractions. I often become consumed with them. It’s easy to live in them sometimes because the world we reside in is full of things to occupy our minds and time. It’s easy to live in them because our lives can be difficult and stressful. Distractions can be a great way to hide from pain. Distractions can be a great way to not deal with tough circumstances and situations.
Distractions can be easier than reality.
Distractions can feel safer than reality.
Distractions can help us avoid what God is saying to us.
It seems to me that there isn’t a whole lot of difference between what we call distractions that consume us and what God calls idols.
In 2 Kings: 18 we meet a man, a king, named Hezekiah. He was good at getting rid of distraction.
The Israelites had a problem with being distracted too. They were going through a difficult time and so they turned to what could give comfort in the immediate instead of turning their focus to God.
The Israelites had begun to worship idols. In particular, they were worshiping an artifact that years before Moses himself had made. Originally the artifact was made to point to God, but that purpose had been forgotten and the bronze snake of Moses was now being worshiped.
It seems silly to give all your time and focus and energy to worshiping something that can’t save you or help you or love you. But an idol is something physical that we can touch and control and fully understand. God isn’t.
One of Hezekiah’s first acts as King was to remove the high places of worship and destroy the snake that people had been worshiping. I think Hezekiah understood that for people to bring their focus back on God, certain distractions had to be removed. He knew what needed to be done and he did it.
When we place our attention and trust back on God, we can discover true peace. When we worship God we can begin to connect with our intended purpose. When we run to God, we run to the only truly safe place.
Take comfort in knowing that God cannot be controlled, cannot be crafted and will not be a temporary fix to our lives. He is Lord and He rules over those who believe. Throw away distractions, remove idols, and place trust in Jesus.
When we live in Jesus rather than in distraction we can have the strength and support to face the pain, difficult choices, and fear.
When we live in Jesus rather than in distraction we can trust that in the end…God wins.
When we live in Jesus rather than in distraction we can see our true purpose and enjoy all the gifts that our Father desires to give us.
I dare you to spend a week away from your favorite distraction. Ask yourself
“Why am I spending so much energy with____________?”
“What am I trying to receive from this distraction?”
“What am I trying to avoid?”
“Is this something that God needs to work on in my life?”
if you decide that you need to get rid of something too distracting in your life, think of Hezekiah and do what needs to be done.