Distracted?

Today was a long day. On the way home, I decided to go ahead and get the weekly grocery store stop out of the way. My destination was that place known as Walmart, otherwise called he…you get the point.

I hate going to Walmart. I hate shopping. For the record, if food wasn’t so good, I’d starve. Anyway, I completed the first leg of my journey which involved the obstacle course known as the place where I work’s construction traffic. After that, I jump on the stretch of interstate and run a shorter version of the Daytona 500. There’s a particular stretch where everyone in the right lane likes to see how far below the minimum speed limit they can go and still keep moving. The other lane is full of all the ticked off people weaving in and out of the mess that is quickly growing.

Then, I get off at the exit before mine to run through town and hit Walmart. Along the way, I see the first distracted driver. As I role through the tiny town on the way to my own, I happen upon left lane traffic that is completely stalled in the middle of the road. Turns out, some guy decided he wanted to go to Food Lion (or possibly Little Caesar’s, his intentions were unclear). Instead of driving another 25-50 yards and turning around in the median, the genius decides to block the left lane and stop traffic on a road where the speed limit is 45MPH and the average speed is probably somewhere around 55MPH.

I arrive at Walmart. Here we go!

Parking was relatively uneventful. I had to park in South America, but that’s okay because I’m closer to the exit. As I walk up to the door, a family comes out with three buggies (yes, I am Southern and it’s not a “caught” or cart, it’s a buggy) and decides to stop and block the door while they hold a pow-wow on where they parked. The issue was not so much that they needed to huddle on the parking spot location, but that they huddled as they came out the entrance side, sealing off entry.

I smiled, did the Christian thing and said “excuse me” as I politely tried to slip through.

If you ever go to Walmart on a weekday after work, you know what I am talking about. I feel like Barry Sanders with a buggy as I stream down aisles trying to quickly grab the list items in my head and squeeze in between the two people that are in deep meditation about which pack of chicken breasts they need to purchase.

After avoiding numerous potential wrecks, and navigating the circus, I’m headed home. As I’m headed out, I get stuck an intersection waiting on the inflow of traffic. I watch the faces of other drivers, and eternity begins to creep by as I watch SUV and car after car drive by. It seems every driver is either talking to a passenger, talking on a phone, looking around at the scenery that has remained the same for the past 10 years, or stopping for the stop sign that has never been at that intersection.

As I hit the home stretch, I dodge a man on his cellphone who comes across the double yellow line along with the car in front of me. I arrive home, and then remember I forgot a key item.

We are all so distracted in this world. Chances are this story probably sounds familiar minus some variations and place names. We do this on a daily basis; our minds are always focused on something else be it the person at the other end of a cell phone connection or where we need to be in the next 30 minutes. Our minds are fickle and it’s getting to the point that we are at information overload.

Luke 10:39-42
And she had a sister called Mary, who sat at the Lord’s feet and listened to his teaching. But Martha was distracted with much serving. And she went up to him and said, “Lord, do you not care that my sister has left me to serve alone? Tell her then to help me.” But the Lord answered her, “Martha, Martha, you are anxious and troubled about many things, but one thing is necessary. Mary has chosen the good portion, which will not be taken away from her.”

What matters most? All we need is one thing, and that is Jesus. Lay all of these other cares, worries, and obsessions to rest. Sometimes we are focused on so many things that we fail to miss the simple truth. Instead of jumping into the rat race and wearing ourselves out, why not choose the good portion? Martha was worried about serving her guests, but only the one thing really matters. All those other things will fall into place, and you may even enjoy life a little more along the way. It’s much easier to focus on one thing than it is to focus on many things.

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