“seek first the kingdom of God
and His righteousness”
So did you hear about that baseball game a few weeks ago? It was during the riots in Baltimore. Orioles vs the Chicago White Sox. The city had postponed two games in the interests of fan safety, but I guess the league was worried about what it would do to the schedule if they postponed another one, so they decided to play the game, but without any fans. Players, coaches and umpires. That was the whole shmiel.
I don’t know if the game was televised, but I did catch several plays at the end of the day, on ESPN. Weird. Too quiet, obviously. As a matter of fact, the coaches said it was hard to communicate with just their own players, without the opposing team hearing what they were saying to each other.
I read a few interviews, too, from coaches and players, on what it was like to play in that unusual circumstance. One comment I found particularly interesting. The interviewer asked a coach what advice he had given to his players before the game, and the coach said that he had told them, “Expect to be distracted by the lack of distractions.”
Isn’t that great advice? The players are used to a certain amount of noise ~ not just the chatter of crowd noise, but more pointed shouting, too. And the call of vendors, and the announcer, and the organist, and of course the cheers for a great play. The players are used to hearing that and being encouraged by it (the home team anyway) but they’re also used to tuning a lot of it out, in order to focus on their job. And I can see how not having those distractions would be, well, distracting. Do you know how loud silence can be?
I found it sort of comforting, though, to think of my life in those terms. There are a lot of things in my life that I could call a distraction. Depending, of course, on what my priority was at the time. A child can be a distraction when you’re on the phone, but the phone is certainly a distraction when you’re cuddled in a chair reading to your child.
The question is not whether there will be things in our lives that will distract us from our goal. The issue is 1) being prepared for them; 2) recognizing which things are distractions and which things are priorities; and C) knowing how to focus in spite of them.
Expect distractions, just like you expect tribulation. And expect Him to help you succeed in the face of them.