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Salisbury Post- November 4, 2017

  Visiting a huge indoor waterpark can be a child’s dream vacation! Having attained ‘super parent’ status, I allowed my 10 and 13 year old to head to the waterslides, while I claimed a spot near the entrance/exit door, slightly away from the noise and humidity, close enough to be easily located when needed, and where I could smile and wave as they ran by occasionally. Yes, I was providing excellent parenting, while they enjoyed the 80,000 square feet of fun!


  Stretched out on a chair, I began working on a column, while consuming Dunkin Donuts, because I am quite the multi-tasker. 


   A mother walked in, followed by three young children, who began jumping up and down, screaming with excitement, and holding tightly to their cups of ice cream. As they cleared the entranceway and prepared to dart off toward the first drop of water, Mom yelled for them to stop. Grabbing her phone, she proceeded to attempt a perfect selfie with her three lovelies.


  The children grew impatient after 22 minutes, so they spread their towels out on the walkway, sat down, and began eating their melting ice cream. Mom continued the perfect selfie quest. “SMILE, KIDS!” would come the frequent command, and the kiddos would obediently look up and smile, but each photo apparently was never exactly right.


  Distracted? Yes. Mom felt they had reached the waterpark, but the children may have begun to feel that the distance between them and the waterpark was great.


  Total time spent making that perfect selfie = 34 minutes.


   After the conclusion of the selfie event, I returned to watching my children from afar, while writing and relaxing. That was when I read John 21, which went like this:


  Peter told the men, “I go a fishing.” Six other disciples joined him. They fished all night. Caught nothing.


  Morning came. Jesus was standing on the shore, but the men didn’t recognize Him. Perhaps they were distracted? Perhaps the distance between them and Jesus was too great?


  Peter had been distracted by those around him at an earlier time, when he denied Jesus three times. On this day, he was still grieving over those denials. 


  Yes, this fishing trip took place after Jesus had died on the cross, was buried, and rose again. And… shortly before Jesus ascended into heaven!


   Just as God created a plan for His Son to save the world, He also created a plan for Jesus to minister to Peter - with no distractions or distance in the way. In that conversation on the beach that began with Jesus asking, “Lovest thou me?” Peter began to understand that Jesus loved him, was restoring him, and was commissioning him - to feed His sheep.


  A distraction can be anything that prevents us from giving full attention to something else. It can take our mind off what we are doing - or need to be doing.


   I sure can see myself in the distracted mom AND in the distracted disciples, especially Peter.


  How about you? Distracted? If so, I will gladly give you some advice… HEY! LOOK! THERE’S ONE DOUGHNUT LEFT! IT’S MY FAVORITE - BOSTON KREME!


  Total time spent eating doughnut = 30 seconds.

  I apologize. Now, where was I? Oh, yes. Advice. Let me try again:


  **The distracted mom missed 34 minutes of fun with her family for that picture!  Phones sure can create distraction and distance between where we are - and where we need to be.


  **The distracted disciples that went ‘a fishing’ had their problem solved when they got past the distraction and distance between them and Jesus. Then, Jesus told them to put their nets on the ‘right’ side of the ship. When they did that, 153 fish jumped ‘right’ in!


 *Distraction distracts.

 *Distraction distances.

 *Distance distances.

 *Distance distracts.


  **Let’s keep the main thing the main thing.

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