Have you ever considered the implications of distractions?
A distraction can be as simple as an interrupting phone call with wonderful, happy news. But sometimes we are significantly affected by news of a catastrophic event like a death in the family, a significant financial loss, an accident, an unexpected diagnosis, or a false accusation. These can bring confusion, change of focus, and loss of concentration on work and normal duty. It can be difficult, if not impossible, to focus on the tasks at hand.
This quote opened my eyes to a better understanding of the origin and purpose of unpleasant distractions:
“The Lord has given to every [wo]man [her] work. It is [her] business to do it, and the adversary’s business to hinder [her] if he can.
“As surely as God has given you a work to do, the adversary will try to hinder you. He may present other things more pleasant. He may allure you by worldly prospects, he may ‘assault’ you with slander, torment you with false accusations, set you to work defending your character, employ ‘pious’ persons to lie about you, editors to assault you, and excellent men to slander you.
“You may have Pilate and Herod, Ananias and Caiaphas all combined against you and Judas standing by to sell you for 30 pieces of silver; and you may wonder why all these things come upon you.
“Can you not see that the whole thing is brought about by the craft of the adversary? To draw you off from your work and hinder your obedience to God? Keep about your work. Do not flinch because the lion roars; do not stop to stone the adversary’s dogs; do not fool away your time chasing the adversary’s rabbits. DO YOUR WORK. Let liars lie, let sectarians quarrel, let corporations resolve, let editors publish, let the adversary do his worst; but see to it that NOTHING hinders you from fulfilling the work that God has given you.
“He has not sent you to make money. He has not commanded you to get rich. He has not bidden you to defend your character. He has not set you at work to contradict falsehoods, which Satan and his servants may start to peddle. If you do these things, you will do nothing else; you will be at work for yourself, not the Lord.
KEEP AT YOUR WORK.
“Let your aim be as steady as a star. Let the world brawl and bubble. You may be assaulted, wronged, insulted, slandered, wounded, and rejected; you may be abused by foes, forsaken by friends and despised and rejected of men, but see to it with steadfast determination, and unfailing zeal, that you pursue that great purpose of your life and object of your being, until at last you can say, ‘I have finished the work that Thou gavest “me” to do.’”
—Pulpit Helps, Aug. 1992, p. 8.