Choosing Distraction

When the people saw that Moses delayed to come down from the mountain, the people gathered themselves together to Aaron and said to him, “Up, make us gods who shall go before us. As for this Moses, the man who brought us up out of the land of Egypt, we do not know what has become of him.” Exodus 32:1

Netflix, Facebook, Snapchat, Drudge, Pinterest, Youtube, Twitter. I wonder how many hours a day we waste on these? My internet accountability software includes a feature that tracks how much time I spend on each app, and the results can be embarassing. I’m not the only one though. So many of my friends who also seemed cramped for time also keep up with all the latest news, shows, videos and trends via a slew of social media and entertainment apps. How does this impact our spiritual formation?

When life grows challenging (as it often is), we often choose distraction and escape rather than dealing with the situation in front of us. It’s easier to browse Drudge than tackle a work project. It’s more fun to scroll through Facebook than to discipline the kids. And it’s always better to watch Netflix at night rather than clean the house or fold laundry. Of course, at some point, we do need to rest, but I wonder if perhaps we jump to our distractions a bit too soon. In the verse above, the nation of Israel seemed to do just that. Moses was on the mountain receiving the law. The people waited for a while, but then concluded he wasn’t coming back. They needed a new God, something to make them feel better, so they created a golden calf. How quickly they turned aside from following the living God to serving an idol. All because they didn’t want to wait for Moses to reappear.

How often do we do the same thing? The true and living God has called us to a vocation, has given us children to raise, a house to maintain. We have neighbors to reach with the gospel. We have projects to accomplish at work. But we grow weary because we don’t sense God’s presence each moment. We turn aside to distraction. May we instead turn to God. Spend a moment in prayer, in His word. Stay focused on what He has called you to. He will be faithful.

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