Pastoral Note

I was reflecting on the helpfulness of distractions this past week.  Often they are not helpful, especially if you are easily distracted.  You know how that goes; it’s why we at times need a quiet place so we can focus.  But sometimes our focus needs distraction.  The need can be for the purpose of taking a break so that following the break we can continue our focus with ‘fresh’ eyes.  But it can also be in order to stop focusing on what is unhelpful, or taking too much or inappropriate attention.  More of us face that these days of COVID, these days isolation and loneliness and fear… and annoyance and irritability that seem to come easier.  In that context, going for a walk, watching a nature program, even getting groceries become helpful distractions to break us out of times of unhelpful focus.  But so does taking time to write a list of positive things, and then thanking God for them; thinking of 5 people who you know are facing challenges, praying for them, and then letting them know you have; finding an online bible study to help focus on Scripture and God’s place in your life.  These become intentional ways to not just be distracted but to ‘refocus’ in positive ways.  Someone said recently to me how meaningful it was that they received a call from someone in the middle of the day, ‘just checking in.’  It wasn’t a long call, but enough to pull the person up in a day that was not great, and it changed their day.  It’s how community works.  It makes it a good idea to consider not just what you can do to be distracted as needed, but who you can, for just a few minutes, distract today and perhaps help them refocus.