Thursday, October 20, 2005

the allure of wide distraction

Over at 43folders [one of my absolute faves] Merlin brought together a pile of references to the very basic concept of distraction. Now, the guys over there are productivity wizards, and are mostly focused on personal and professional-type effectiveness tools, but I think this concept has particular bearing on our role in ministry.

Merlin quotes Paul Ford when he talks about the difference between wide and narrow distractions in our daily lives. The wide ones are those that are the dog toys - a piece of rawhide or a thrown bone - and the narrow ones are the things that take us down miles and miles of rabbit trails - farther away from where we started.

As we work in our daily interactions with normal people, how often do we let both elements of distraction (wide ones that show up as superficial red herrings - and narrow ones that allow for meaningless arguments we have with ourselves) prevent us from getting to the real depth of the conversation. I love the thoughts my friends are having right now [pat/jen/dan/crissy] of jumping off the ledge into church planting in london. While they are carefully planning and exploring, I get the real sense that the wide and narrow that run in our way will not trip them up. They are really listening to the base-level call of the gospel and they are investing completely and honestly.

That type of integrity in mission - the kind that overcomes the distractions we're dealing with every day - is sorely lacking in far too many of our christian communities.
The distraction of personality can be crushing some days, and i'm just wondering how often we let the wide and narrow nature of it get in the way of everything we say we do.

1 comment:

pat said...

thanks for the good words.

i think what takes away the distraction for me has to be two things. the first thing has to be spending a chunk of life recently exploring (through God and community) what i'm "called" to do or be. the second thing is then having faith that not only was i made to do this, but that God is faithful and trustworthy, so even when the path is ugly or hard i know i'm moving toward where the creator i sending me.