According to the CDC, nine people are killed and 1,153 people are injured every day in America due to distracted driving. In fact, distracted driving is such a problem in the United States, that the federal government has set up an entire educational initiative to address the problem: distraction.gov.
To illustrate this problem with distracted driving, check out this short video from the US Department of Transportation’s National Highway Traffic Safety Administration:
Distractions kill (literally). And just as distractions can kill or injure us when we’re driving, they can kill us spiritually, too.
In Mark 4, Jesus is teaching his disciples. He uses a parable of a person sowing seeds, to describe the different types of spiritual growth different people go through. One group of people in Jesus’ parable, are the ‘seeds sown among thorns’:
“And others are the ones sown among thorns. They are those who hear the word,
but the cares of the world and the deceitfulness of riches and the desires for
other things enter in and choke the word, and it proves unfruitful.”
– Jesus Christ (Mark 4:18-19 ESV)
Notice the things that choke the seed and kill it: Cares of the world, deceitfulness of riches, and desire for other things.
If we’re not careful, the distractions of life can creep in, choke us, and destroy our faith.
Growing up, I had several friends who believed in God, went to church, and grew up going to Catholic school. In high school, they got distracted by sex, alcohol, wild parties, and their own life, which eventually led to them walking away from God completely. In other words, they got distracted by the cares of the world and desire for other things, and it choked their faith to death.
Keep in mind: Not only can distractions kill your own faith, but distractions can also assist in destroying the faith of others.
Whether you realize it or not, many people look to you for spiritual guidance, inspiration, and understanding: Your spouse, kids, friends, small group, community, students, etc. When your faith is distracted, it’s dying slowly. And as your faith dies and declines, it can potentially damage the faith of new believers who are looking to you for spiritual guidance.
Do you wish you felt closer to God? Do you feel like your faith is being choked, strangled, and slowly dying? If so, it could be because your distracted by things that are temporary: Cares of the world, deceitfulness of riches, and desire for other things.
While it’s possible that demons and persecution may try to destroy your faith, these may not be the greatest temptations you face. The one thing threatening to destroy your faith might be distractions.
“Indeed the safest road to hell is the gradual one – the gentle slope, soft underfoot,
without sudden turnings, without milestones, without signposts.”
– From C.S. Lewis’ The Screwtape Letters