Distractions

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I Can Do Bad All by Myself  – Tyler Perry

In this scene, young Jennifer has come to Medea looking for advice on how to pray.  In the midst of a mixed up Bible story, the following dialog spoke directly to me:

Medea – You remind me of Peter in the Bible. You know who Peter was?

Jennifer – No

Medea – Peter was one of the 12 disciplines. And they were on a boat out on the isle, of the Greek Atlantic Ocean.  And when they was on this boat, the storm rose up.    And the 12 disciplines, they got really, really worried and upset. They said, “Oh, no, what are we gonna do?”  They saw someone coming toward them on the water, it looked like a ghost. But it wasn’t a ghost. It was Jesus.

And Peter say, “Jesus, if that’s you, let me come out there.”  (You gotta be careful what you ask the Lord for.)  So Jesus said, “Come on out.”  So Peter stepped out of the boat and was walking on the water.

Jennifer – He was walking on water?

Medea – On the water. He was walking on the water toward Jesus. Long as he kept his eyes on him, he stayed on top of the water.  He took his eyes off him, though. You know why? He got distracted.  You know why he got distracted?

When you got your eye on Jesus, can’t get distracted by nothing.  (emphasis mine)  Jonah passed by in the belly of the whale. He looked down, Free Willy with Jonah inside the belly, and it made him distracted, so he started to sink.

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Lately I have experienced how powerful distractions can be.  Leaders thrown off task by crisis, artists questioning their passion because of criticism, relationships strained because of unspoken tension.

In my own distractions (both positive and negative), my instinct is to take my eyes off of Jesus to deal with the distraction.  I want the happiness to last just a little longer, I want the pain to subside as quickly as possible and somehow I’ve fooled myself into thinking that I have control over that.  But in taking my eyes off of Jesus, I am missing so much.  He has a plan for my life (Jer. 29:11), things He has created me to do (Eph. 2:10) and here I am allowing distractions to rule my heart and my mind.

When my gaze is directed back at my Savior, hope, peace and purpose return.

May we each keep our eyes fixed on Jesus (Heb 12:2).

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