Fresh from today’s news feed—a 54-year-old man in a suburban neighborhood was approached by a couple that he knew lived nearby. The woman asked if she could possibly take a swim in the man’s pool. When he agreed and let them in, she told her husband to go back and get some cigarettes, so he appeared to go back home for the errand, leaving the door open for him to come back.
When the man escorted the woman back to his pool, she asked if it was okay if she swam in the nude. He agreed. For the next 20 minutes, while the woman swam and the man watched, the husband was robbing the house.
At some point after the swim, the man realized what had happened and called 911. How would you like to explain that one to the police? Your wife? Your family? Your neighbors?
Distraction and diversion have been the ploy of the enemy from the day sin entered the Garden. “Hey, look over here,” while I rob you over there.
While the pool story is quite obvious in where it was going, there are so many distractions that go on in our lives every day. Some of them are diversions that work on us every time, for years. In every single occurrence, we hear, “Hey, look over here,” and we look. Realized we were robbed—again. Then we feel stupid, ashamed, guilt-ridden. Then there are the new distractions that come and we’ve never fallen for it before—until now.
Regardless, it’s ironic that whatever the object of distraction is, that’s never what the true focus should be on. What we are tempted to see, do, think, or feel isn’t the point, it’s the robbery that is taking place while our attention is diverted.
The man in the story had three opportunities to stay focused on the truth of what was happening—when a couple he barely knew randomly asks if the wife can take a swim, when the husband was dismissed for an errand leaving the two alone, and when the woman asked if she could get naked. But the hook was being set deeper, the diversion more effective, as the plot grew.
Is there an area where you are being distracted? Where is your attention being diverted? And the big question—where are you being robbed, what are you being robbed of, while your focus is in the wrong place?
The point isn’t that we will never be tempted to distraction or tricked by diversion; it’s what we do about it when we realize the robbery has begun.
But now, by giving himself completely at the Cross, actually dying for you, Christ brought you over to God’s side and put your lives together, whole and holy in his presence. You don’t walk away from a gift like that! You stay grounded and steady in that bond of trust, constantly tuned in to the Message, careful not to be distracted or diverted. —Colossians 1:2 MSG