From time to time I can get really distracted. The most mundane things seem to be so interesting right, when I should be doing something else.
It seems to happen most when I've got some deadline to meet, when I'm preparing a message, or writing a blog post.
I know I have a limited time, I have a set task, and I know what I need to achieve, but distraction sets in.
For example, I may sit down and open up my writing app. Then it strikes, the sudden urge to check my email. After a few minutes of replying to those "urgent" emails, which weren't urgent a few minutes ago, I move on to those very pressing social media messages.
First Twitter, then Instagram, and finally a little Facebook. Very important stuff…. not really. Not important at all, they're just distractions.
After what seems like a few minutes, but in reality could be an hour, I finally get up, go to the kitchen and make a cup of coffee. As the water boils I think to myself about all I've achieved. Completely deceiving myself. I know the real task is yet to be accomplished and that the deadline is looming.
Throughout all the distractions I forget what's important. I neglect what I intended to do in the first place.
I start out with clear goal. I know what I need to get done. I begin with one thing in mind, but end up doing another.
And I know when I'm being distracted, but I mindlessly go ahead and travel off course anyways.
Now that's stupidity!
Friedrich Nietzsche was a German philosopher. You've probably heard of him. He said a lot of things that you and I as Christians wouldn't agree with. There is one quote I read recently though that stuck with me, it's very relevant to our Christian commission. He said this;
"The most basic form of human stupidity is forgetting what we are trying to accomplish." -Friedrich Nietzsche
Yep, that's me. I can be that guy. Like I said earlier, almost on a daily basis I can get distracted and forget what I'm trying to accomplish. I wonder though, if there's a greater issue at play. I wonder if we are all regularly forgetting the most important of tasks?
Jesus disciples were clearly sent out to evangelise, to spread the Gospel and to make disciples. We Christians have that task to achieve. We have an outcome that we've been commissioned to accomplish. As we all know, Matthew 28:18-20 says:
"Then Jesus came to them and said, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.”
Since those first disciples were commissioned, the task hasn't changed. What we are trying to achieve is exactly the same. So my challenge is this - as Christ's current disciples - have we forgotten what we're trying to accomplish?
We go about daily lives and we're often doing good things. We're building great careers, and lovely families. Many of us are even serving in our local Churches. We give time and money to help others. But I wonder if we're leaving the real task, the actual thing we're meant to be accomplishing, to a select few? I wonder if we've subtly left evangelism and of sharing the Gospel to the Pastors and leaders at our Churches?
If you, or I were Nietzsche, we'd call that stupidity at its finest, because so regularly we completely forget what we're trying to accomplish.
We want the world to know the love, forgiveness and grace of our incredible Saviour - In order for this become a reality we need to stay on mission - We need to actively pursue the task at hand.
My encouragement to you, and as I write I'm challenging myself also, is to shake off the distractions and refocus our attention on the main game. Let's get our attention on Jesus commission and on declaring His goodness to all. Let's remember that once we were lost, but now we are found. And let's never allow ourselves the luxury of distraction, even by good things, especially when the deadline is looming.
We know what we're trying to accomplish, and we know what we need to do, so let's get about it!