Our night flight left at 9:30 our time, or 21:30, as they say in Europe, and landed in Keflavik, Iceland at 6:30 in the morning. Just perfect for a good night’s sleep! Only problem was, the flight was only 4 hours and 50 minutes long! The time change ate up the rest of available hours for sleep! Needless to say, once we were comfortably established on the aircraft, my first priority was to sleep. I plugged my ears with what was supposed to cut down on noise, and tried to wiggle myself into an as comfortable of a position as possible.
With my eyelids closed, I became aware of the two toddlers behind me, enthusiastically babbling non-stop. They were so excited that they kept kicking the back of my seat, to the point that I was sure they saw it as a giant, upright drum!
Their mother was no better. She was constantly standing up and sitting down. Didn’t she know this was in an airplane and not some kind of an exercise room?
Needless to say, there was no way I could fall asleep. These distractions completely prevented me from attaining my goal!
I removed my earplugs and replaced them with my Ipod earphones. Listening to Christian music did not help however, as competition was fierce between my music and the two haunting toddlers behind me.
I switched to soft instrumental music and attempted to pass my time in prayer. Amazing! After just two uplifting songs, coupled with the time with my Maker, frustration left me completely. Instead I was filled with hilarious laughter whenever I thought about those two kids behind me. Even the pilot’s announcement over the P.A. system made me giggle.
Then, to the dismay of my wife, who was also unsuccessfully trying to sleep in the seat between me and the window seat, I saw the view from the plane window. A gorgeous sunrise was in the making, and naturally, I couldn’t help but take some pictures. Delighted, I closed my eyes and fell asleep with a smile on my lips, unaware of the distractions that were going on behind me.
So often we let distractions keep us from attaining our goal! In fact, many of these interferences hamper us so much, that too often we forget our original purpose.
Martha is a great example:
“Martha was distracted by all the preparations that had to be made. She came to him and asked, “Lord, don’t you care that my sister has left me to do the work by myself? Tell her to help me!” (Luke 10:40 NIV)
Here is a woman who was preparing to feed the guest who was already in her home. Why were the preparations not done beforehand? Were these preparations really so much more important than the guest himself?
Too often we fall into the same trap. Our to-do lists and our stress levels keep us so busy that we more often than not forget the essentials in life.
Jesus has some great tips for us: “‘Martha, Martha,’ the Lord answered, ‘you are worried and upset about many things, but only one thing is needed. Mary has chosen what is better, and it will not be taken away from her.'” (Luke 10:41-42 NIV)
In other words these distractions are keeping us from the essential. “Only one thing is needed!” What is possibly the most essential “thing” in life? Mary discovered it! And hopefully we, too, will eventually discover that the most important thing in life is to spend time with the host: Jesus Christ Himself.
Distractions will not matter any longer once we discover our host, the One who stands knocking at our heart’s door (See Rev 3:20). We will be filled with hilarious laughter, as well as inner peace. Worrying will become a “thing” of the past. Imagine, we are spending quality time with the One who not only created us, but redeemed us through his own blood! Wouldn’t that fill anyone with adrenaline!
But such a relationship requires faith, faith that Jesus is truly our only essential in life. “Only one thing is needed!”
We need faith that these distractions are not our priority in life; we need faith that the One we are spending time with will take care of our needs!
“Didn’t you hear all that banging and chattering going on behind you?”
“What banging and chattering?”
(To access the entire “Rivers of Faith” devotional series, please click here.)