Ignore the Creaking Distractions!
By Brian Entwistle of Taipei, Taiwan (World Service Corps)
There are many issues that could easily consume the time and energy of the church. However, the challenge before a prophetic people is to discern and pursue what matters most for the journey ahead. —Doctrine and Covenants 163:11b
I listened to one of our pastors as she presented a spiritual awareness exercise at the beginning of a meeting. She invited us to place our hands on our heads, then on our eyes, then on our hearts. As I followed along, my jacket creaked so loudly I could not concentrate on the exercise. It distracted me from the invitational blessing, and I lost focus.
I remembered two weeks earlier we shared in a workshop which stressed that other issues often distract us and keep us from doing “what matters most.” When one is inviting people to Christ, working for peace, or trying to serve in any of the five Mission Initiatives, it is easy to lose focus.
Following the short worship I shared some suggestions about the next steps in discerning for our congregation and personal discovery. We discussed application and mentoring of the Mission Initiatives. I told about my creaking jacket and how easily distracted we can be. The creaking jacket did not surprise me, but that I gave up so easily to the distraction did. I missed an opportunity to respond to what mattered most in that moment.
The Australian people have a saying, “Keep on keeping on,” which to me implies we need to stay focused. Don’t allow distractions to get in the way of being a blessing to others and to yourself. Most of all—respond to the Holy Spirit when prompted without allowing distractions to interfere.
I will keep on wearing my jacket, but I will remember the lesson and stay focused.
Prayer for Peace
Are we late, God? Are we delayed and distracted disciples? Are we slow servants? Are we procrastinating partisans? Help us be willing witnesses, eager to respond without hesitation. Help us get started and then keep on for peace.
Read and reflect on Doctrine and Covenants 162:3b and 163:2b. Pray to be aware of people who might be receptive, and therefore blessed, by your sharing of the message of the Living Christ. Imagine being in relationship with them and inviting them to Christ. In preparation, discover your personal testimony of Christ. “Be persistent in your witness and diligent in your mission to the world.” Repeat this phrase throughout the day: “Christ’s mission, our mission, my mission.”
Today, God, if I get behind, please give me a nudge, and I’ll continue my work for peace.