“Distractions” – By Kathleen Foehrkolb
Life is filled with distractions. Worries about problems at home can distract us from getting our work done. Activity on the side of the road can distract us while driving. Daydreams can distract us from listening to what someone is trying to tell us. This lack of focus can lead to problems like falling behind in our work, a car crash, or a misunderstanding with a friend. So, it is important to stay focused on what matters.
To us, as Catholic Christians, what matters most is our relationship with God. Yet, we often allow distractions to prevent us from focusing on God and developing a deeper relationship with him. This lack of focus can be more than problematic – it can be disastrous! Without God, our lives can seem meaningless, our struggles overwhelming, our accomplishments empty.
Jesus also encountered distractions in his earthly life. Whenever Jesus needed to renew his focus, he would go off alone to a quiet place to fast and pray. He would come away recharged and energized for his mission.
The liturgical season of Lent is the time when Christians imitate Jesus in getting away from the distractions of life to reconnect with God through prayer, fasting, and almsgiving. We can’t leave our families, our jobs, and our responsibilities and go off to live in the desert for 40 days. But, we can do something. We just need a plan.
So, as we prepare to enter the season of Lent, let’s spend a little time figuring out which distractions we CAN put aside for 40 days. Maybe we can put aside the distraction of one television show per week and spend that time praying the rosary or reading a chapter of the Bible. Maybe we can put aside the distraction of sitting in the drive-thru line at Starbucks and put that money in the poor box instead. Maybe we can put aside the distraction of our cell phones and use that time to have a real conversation with someone we love.
Lent is just around the corner. Do you have a plan?