I was cutting grass the other day for a friend on top of this hill where one of their retreat cabins is situated. This is the view I captured with my iPhone. I only wished that you could have been there with me. Scenes like this remind me of my Father who created everything. It’s not cluttered with houses, power lines, etc.
I’m calling this photo “Life without Distractions”. It’s an original! It’s not for sale; not even on the market. This cabin on the hill is off the grid with this view from the front porch, a life without clutter, anxiety, worry, fear, or distractions.
Life is full of distractions. That’s nothing unusual with the present sensate culture of our day. But then life has always had distraction; some of them God engineered, while most manufactured by man. A distraction is what it is: the act of drawing apart or separating.- Webster 1828
The photo above, “Life without Distractions”, has the effect of drawing together and creating a spirit of peace in our mind. So the opposite of being drawn together or a distraction is that which draws me apart and separates me from . . . . . . what? Good question. Put one way, if I’m drawn apart and separated, I ask the question, “drawn apart and separated from what, or whom”.
I believe it’s safe to say, when I’m in a state of distraction, I am separated from real life. A hectic life with distractions can hardly be called life. That should be called death. Death is not life, and life is not death.
God Induced Distractions
Here’s classic example of a God engineered distraction. 2 Kings chapter 2 tells the story of Elijah’s departure from this life. Elijah asks his servant, Elisha, if there is anything he can do for him before he leaves. Elisha requests a double portion of his master’s spirit. Elijah responds by saying, “that’s a hard thing, but if you see me when I am taken, your request will be granted. Otherwise, if you do not see me, your request will not be granted.
Curious thing is, how could Elijah guarantee such a request after he’s gone?
So they are walking along, and from out of the heavens comes this fiery horse drawn chariot. The fiery vehicle flies right between them separating the two men and Elijah is taken up into heaven in a fiery whirlwind. Elisha never lost his focus on Elijah despite the unearthly spectacle, a distraction to say the least. He catches Elijah’s mantle as it floats to the ground, walks over to the water’s edge and smites the waters of the Jordan with his departed master’s cloak demanding to know where is the God of Elijah. As if the river was anticipating the command, the waters part and he crosses over on the dry river bed.
If you understand this, you’re either a genius or should seek professional help. Apparently, the distraction was an act of providence to test the young apprentice’s determination to stay focused on Elijah when it mattered most.
My own manufactured distractions are nothing like the incident above. Mine are so subtle, so well designed and so commonplace, they’re considered normal. They might be ubiquitous, but they are not normal. After all, if my distractions are not engineered by God like the fiery chariot scene, they only prove to draw me apart and separate me from the very source of life itself; viz., the Spirit of God. YHWH, ruach, zoe, pneuma, breath.
The example of the gladiator
Essentially, all dogmatic thought lies in seeing your riverbank only, while disallowing the other riverbank on the other side, and ignoring the river that runs between them. We define truth exclusively by our own riverbank or position described by our doctrines as though a river needed only one riverbank. If it cannot be described in our terms or does not meet with our criteria of understanding, it cannot be true.
This is why it’s so easy to believe lies. Man is predisposed to darkness, because of his sinful heredity. His disposition toward truth and righteousness is bent through the lens of darkness resulting in him trusting in the lies produced by the process and mistaking it for truth. This makes lies very powerful as an accusing force against him. Religiously motivated lies are especially destructive for they focus on man’s condemnation and send him out into the arena of gladiators where performance is critical to survival. Do nothing and you will die. Be on guard while you stealthily wield your weapon and you live, maybe even get the “thumbs up” from someone up the devious hierarchal system. And so on and on he goes, deluded by what he perceives as approval, is sadly only separation.
This illustration reminds me over and over again of a phenomenon that takes place every day and everywhere, except next to the cabin on the hill with the view. Real life requires no performance or approval.
Religious distractions are the best the world system has to offer. I’ll save this for next time.
Shalom – nothing missing, nothing broken