The boys trampled through the house like jousting hyenas. The crusted breakfast plates sat in the sink and my two-year-old kept crying and whining—over nothing.
So, I picked up my phone and scrolled Instagram pictures. Baked bread. Birthday candles. A newborn.
The Spirit of God whispered a gentle question: “What are you looking for?”
“You, Lord,” I replied in my mind.
“I’m right here.”
So, I set down the phone and prayed.
It seems that I picked up the habit of distraction to numb my anxiety rather than turning to God for genuine peace.
The Habit of Distraction
It is so easy to run away instead of run toward God. To check-out instead of check-in. It might look like scrolling social media, or working overtime, or watching one too many episodes on that Netflix series.
And we float along. Never addressing the aches in our hearts. The deep curiosities. The uncomfortable fears.
We just float on by—unaware that this is exactly what Satan likes: us not seeking and seeing God.
Ancient Distracted People
In John 5, Jesus healed a man who couldn’t walk for thirty-eight years. The Jews interrogated Jesus because He broke a huge cultural rule: He worked (healed) someone on the sabbath and told that person to pick up his mat and walk.
Jesus broke the religious cultural rule of “no mat-carrying on the sabbath.” So, the Jewish leaders grilled Jesus. And when Jesus claimed equality with God the Father, they sought to kill Him.
Jesus responded to their craziness with a firm monologue.
“You search the Scriptures because you think that in them you have eternal life; it is these that testify about Me; and you are unwilling to come to Me so that you may have life.” (John 5:39-40, emphasis mine)
Distraction Plagues Us
The Jews read all about Moses and the prophets. They read about how to recognize the Messiah, but they missed the long-awaited King standing right in front of them because they focused on their traditions rather than seeking the Father.
Their cultural religious life was their version of Instagram and Netflix. Not bad stuff necessarily, but not Jesus—the One they really needed and longed for as they searched the Scriptures for life.
Just like these distracted Jews, we also look for life in other sources rather than Jesus.
When we are overwhelmed with work. Frustrated with people. Burdened with grief—where do we turn?
Social Media? Shopping? Netflix binge? Our stash of salted caramel chocolate?
That Summer day, I turned to Instagram. And as beautiful as Johanna Gaines’ new conference room looked with the deep green bookcase and light pink velvet couch—it did not fill my soul with the truth I needed as I love the wild cats—I mean kids—in my home.
Rather than turning to the screen, I should have turned to Jesus in prayer.
When you are stressed, what is the first thing you turn to?