Good Distractions

Stop texts stop wrecks. That’s the National Highway Travel Safety Administration’s current slogan.

Maybe you’ve heard the commercials before while driving… and it reminds you to put your phone down.

I certainly agree with the concept. It’s a corny slogan, but an important thing to try and stop.

Distracted driving is dangerous and deadly.

The truth is distraction sometimes gets a bad rap.

I think distraction can be incredibly helpful.

For example, our six-year-old daughter Hailey has a very sensitive head. She screams almost every time we try to brush her hair out.

We’re much more successful in or hair styling efforts when we distract her with food and/or an episode of Sophia the First on Disney.

Distraction isn’t always so bad.

Our dentist has TVs positioned right over head and it makes the lectures about flossing tolerable.

Sports are a wonderful distraction to real life. Does it really matter if (insert favorite team) wins their next big game?

When we sat for five hours while our son underwent open-heart surgery we needed positive distraction.

We ate, visited and even laughed during this time. The people that sat with us provided an incredibly great form of distraction.

Recently some friends of ours have gone through an incredibly difficult time. Loss on a level beyond anything I’ve seen. It’s sad. It’s devastating.

In talking with them a similar theme comes up. They need prayer, time, support, friendship, and shoulders to cry on and yes, they too need distraction.

They told me that simply coming to someone’s house and watching a football game is great for them.

Other friends of ours recently commemorated the loss of one of their sons who died tragically and unexpectedly.

When I asked the father of how he spends the painful anniversary he responded with, “I try to find a good distraction.”

I’m not advocating distraction as a way to not deal with pain. To somehow skip over it and pretend it doesn’t exist.

No, to pretend pain and hurtful moments didn’t happen (and won’t continue to) is immature.

But maybe healthy distraction is good way to deal with it.

In fact, I think distracting others can be a form of love and care for others.

Distracting others with a fun night out or good meal.

Distracting them with a run or workout at the gym.

Distracting them by inviting them into your home to watch the Seahawks game.

Distracting them with some fresh baked goodies.

All of these are what it means to be a friend and to be human. To love and to support people… to distract them when they need it most.

Maybe bringing comfort to others is as simple as providing a short distraction to their pain.

I wonder how this verse would read if we substituted the word distraction for comfort?

“God comforts (distracts) us in all our troubles so that we can comfort (distract) others. When they are troubled, we will be able to give them the same comfort (distraction) God has given us.” (2 Corinthians 1.4, NLT)

I know it’s not perfect, but I trust you get the idea.

Maybe distraction isn’t always such a bad thing after all?

Who can you distract (love, comfort, support, help) today?

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