Of course, it doesn't take gadgets to get us distracted. We admire a rainbow or look at the mist coming over the mountains. The beauty causes us to gaze a little to long. Its easy to slip out of your lane, hit the warning bumps and refocus your attention.
We aren't only distracted while driving. We can be distracted while doing anything which is important in life. In fact, we can forget what we are supposed to be doing. The urgent demands crying for out attention can keep us from every doing what we should be doing.
I arrived at the funeral of the first pastor I served under after seminary graduation. I heard three of his children, two of his former staff members and someone who sat under his preaching and advice give testimonies about him. Each one told about how he loved God's word and how much time he spent preparing to preach it.
He had moved his study to his home just before I was on his staff. He got a great deal of criticism for this while I was there. People felt that he wasn't really working if he wasn't at the church. I now believe they were saying that he was not really available at a moment's notice if he was studying at home. I think they thought he should be like a retail salesman who waits for the customers to arrive so he can meet their needs.
But this man did not give into criticism. He had a room set aside in which he studied his Bible and prepared his sermons. He prepared three different sermons each week. I know this is not what the typical preacher does today. He felt that it was that important to preach the word. Thus, the church had three true worship services each week. The Sunday morning, evening or Wednesday night services were not much different from each other. He preached to a fairly full sanctuary at each of these services.
Maybe that is why I heard so many people tell his widow stories of what he meant to them as I stood in line to tell my story. People came from states all around to tell their stories of the time when they were members of the church. Each one told of his sermons and how at that particular time in their lives they needed to hear what he had to say.
I thought to myself, "Why am I taking every call that comes when I should be preparing to preach the word? What difference will it make if I don't get involved in the landscaping, air conditioner maintenance or church insurance? What happens if I don't get involved in the upgrade to the computers?" Very little I am sure.
But what happens if I give a half-baked sermon? What happens if I fail to present God's word accurately and with some depth? Am I not producing half-baked shallow Christians? I can't help but say that I am.
It is so easy to get distracted. It only takes a phone call or someone who comes in with what they perceive to be a crisis. I drop the word of God and give grease to the squeaky wheel. Then, I give the congregation the left overs.
I also criticized the pastor for moving his study home. I now understand. He just didn't want to be distracted.
2 Preach the Word; be prepared in season and out of season; correct, rebuke and encourage--with great patience and careful instruction.