In the parable of the sower in the Bible, it talks about the different types of soil the seed fell on as the sower spread it around. One of those was thorny soil.
Mark 4:7 says, "Other seed [of the same kind] fell among thorn plants, and the thistles grew and pressed together and utterly choked and suffocated it, and it yielded no grain."
I love the way the Amplified version puts it. First, it tells us that the seed was the same wherever the sower spread it. That's important to remember: God does not change. His Word does not change. His love for us is the same now as it always is.
Verse 19 describes the thorns, among other things, as "the cares and anxieties of the world and distractions of the age." It says these things "choke and suffocate the Word, and it becomes fruitless."
Much of everyday life is filled with opportunities to be distracted. Our possessions… entertainment…cares and anxieties…and even the passionate desire and pursuit of things, some good and not so good, can keep our minds and hearts caught up in a flurry of activity. We are living in the age of so much personal technology; there are all kinds of gadgets that can do almost anything we need. There used to be a time when you wrote a letter and it could take months to arrive at its destination. Today, you can talk to someone all the way around the world, and it sounds like they're in the next room.
I'm not talking about any of these things being bad necessarily…just distractions… meaning they are things that can keep us preoccupied or steal our focus. And that's the enemy's goal. Satan is the master distracter. He is always working to keep us off track in our walk with God. And one of the ways he does it is through distraction. If he can keep our attention diverted…maybe by our shortcomings or worries about our problems or other people's actions toward us, he can keep us unfocused and unaware of what's important or right.
I spent most of the early years of my walk with God focused on what was wrong with me. Most of us probably do that, hoping to change ourselves. But remember, that's the master distracter's main goal. Today, I focus on faith…on loving God…being good to people. I still make mistakes sometimes, but when I do, I ask for forgiveness, let it go and refocus on doing right.
And that's my encouragement to you today. Refocus. Don't be distracted by your mistakes. What are you doing right? Don't be so caught up in what's wrong in the world. Look for the good that's out there. Don't obsess over a loss…pay attention to what's left, what you do have. In other words, don't focus on what the devil's doing, but look to God; He's doing a whole lot of good!
Now, I'm not saying go somewhere and stick your head in the sand. I'm just saying fix your focus. There will always be something to get upset about. Stuff happens. But it's a waste of time trying to do something about something you can't do anything about.
Every day is a gift from God. Learn to focus on the Giver and enjoy the gift!