Distracted By Doing

According to the Merriam Webster online dictionary, distraction as a noun could be any of the following meanings:

: something that makes it difficult to think or pay attention

: something that amuses or entertains you so that you do not think about problems, work, etc.

: a state in which you are very annoyed or upset

My word for 2014 is seek. My word is still under development. I still don’t know exactly what it means, but I know I’m seeking God.

That seems so odd to me.

I found God when I accepted His gift of salvation. Why should I be seeking Him so many years later? 


38As Jesus and the disciples continued on their way to Jerusalem, they came to a certain village where a woman named Martha welcomed him into her home. 39Her sister, Mary, sat at the Lord’s feet, listening to what he taught. 40But Martha was distracted by the big dinner she was preparing. She came to Jesus and said, “Lord, doesn’t it seem unfair to you that my sister just sits here while I do all the work? Tell her to come and help me.”
41But the Lord said to her, “My dear Martha, you are worried and upset over all these details! 42There is only one thing worth being concerned about. Mary has discovered it, and it will not be taken away from her.” Luke 10:38-42

This one passage meets all three of those definitions of distraction for me. Do you see it?

1. Difficult to think or pay attention.

Martha was busy. She had a to-do list. She had specific tasks at hand that had to be completed. She did not have time to become distracted. She had too much to do.

Or was all of that just a coping mechanism? Was staying busy Martha’s way of looking important or her way of staying out of the way and not having to deal with the uncomfortable teaching that was about to take place?

2. Something that entertains you.

Sometimes work can entertain us. It can provide a challenge which presents reward. We set goals, we work for recognition, and we avoid the negative things in front of us by immersing ourselves in the busyness. 

3. Finding ourselves annoyed or upset.

Martha was slaving away in the kitchen and her sister sat in the floor by Jesus’ feet. Mary knew how much work there was to be done! What in the world was wrong with her?

How often do we become distracted by what those around us are or aren’t doing? We either elevate our own importance or talk badly about those who aren’t working. 

I’ve been living life a lot like Martha. 

I can’t seek you right now, Lord. There’s too much going on right now. I’m needed to get all of this done.

I can’t seek you right now, Lord. This might be my only opportunity to serve in this capacity. I want to do my best. I want to show them just how good I can be at this. 

I can’t seek you right now, Lord! Can’t you see? I’m too busy doing my work, and her work, and his work, and probably the work of three other people because none of them will get up and do anything! I’m the only one willing to work, Lord! Everyone else is just sitting around reading their Bibles!

See, I knew Him, but I got so distracted by the work, the recognition, and the laziness of those around me that I stopped seeking Him in an attempt to be everything and do everything. Yes, we can become distracted while doing good works. 

There’s nothing wrong with serving…unless the action becomes an idol.

I’m not God. I’m a sinner saved by grace. I need to sit at the feet of Jesus and have my focus fixed. 

photo credit: Thomas Dwyer via photopin cc

16 responses to this post.

  1. nicely explained 'distraction' word


  2. Great explanation of distracted


  3. I have to stop being distracted, but now I know why it's happening.


  4. Sometimes I feel the whole “Are you Mary or Martha?” get's overdone…not today! I loved the connection with the dictionary definitions and how Martha had met all three of them. Honestly, I can probably say I've been guilty of a few/all of them myself recently. It's interesting to think that by being distracted from God we could end up annoyed AT him like Martha seems to be. I've made some progress recently but I still get distracted.


  5. Great explanation 🙂


  6. Whew… I hear that! And a big AMEN! Always trying to remember that scripture tells us to “seek FIRST his kingdom and his righteousness” and “all these things” will be given to us as well. Trying to remember… not very successfully…



  7. This was an interesting way to present a very well discussed passage of scripture. I have always wanted to defend Martha for serving well, but I loved how you pulled out the truth she was distracted by what Mary was not doing rather than her service. There is still a big part of me that wants to justify the service, becaus I, too, can easily be a Martha in my busy-ness. But truly at heart, I want to be Mary.. fully seeking Him, hanging on his every WORD. :)Thanks for expounding on this topic.


  8. Thanks for linking up on my #OscarHop ! Be sure to join the Twitter chat today during the #redcarpet & show! #oscars

    Happy Kids, Inc @happykidsinc


  9. Amarnaik,

    Thank you for stopping by and the feedback. Please drop by again.


  10. Thanks for dropping by with some comment love, Fred! Please drop by again!


  11. Nick,

    Thanks for dropping by to visit. We all get distracted. It becomes easier to focus, however, if we can identify the distractions. I hope you are able to find focus.


  12. Chris,

    I'm a Martha fan, so I personally despise the story. 😉 However, as I set out to do this challenge, guess what the Spirit brought to my mind?

    Funny how God works.


  13. Thanks for dropping in, Sophie. Please come by to chat again!


  14. Beckey,

    So glad I'm not alone on this one! Thank you for stopping in to chat again. 🙂 Come visit with us again!


  15. Dawn,

    I am a Martha defender to the end. Someone HAS to do the work! We can't all sit around and “listen” all the time. Someone has to be up DOING.

    This is the sermon others give me, not the passage I pull to present. However, God has a great sense of humor and guess what the Spirit brought to mind as I worked through the distraction challenge?

    Thank you for adding your voice to our conversation! Please come back again!


  16. Thank you so much for hosting, Meg! And for the invite to the chat!


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