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Diversions and Distractions
Pastor Stacy Williams
posted January 28, 2009
COLUMN – Sometimes I get irritated by
“studies” that are done by some of our institutes of higher learning.
While I truly believe in research, some things just do not need a
“study” to be done to know the truth. I read this week about one such
study that was done by the University of Alabama at Birmingham. For the
study, they used virtual reality software and three TV screens to
simulate traffic at an actual crosswalk in Birmingham, Alabama.
The team studied the reactions of 77 children, ages 10 and 11,
crossing the simulated road six times without the phone, and six times
while talking on the phone with a research assistant. The children were
told to cross the street when they felt it was safe. When children
stepped off a "curb" and onto a sensor pad, their moves were captured
by a computer.
What was the result? The university found that children take more risks
when they talking on a cell phone, they took 20 percent longer to begin
crossing the street, and they were 43 percent more likely to be hit by
a vehicle or have a close call when they were on the phone. Children
also forgot to look both ways in about 20 percent of the crossings
while on the phone.
All I have to say is…well duh! Most adults would have the same result.
We have all seen the guy driving on the interstate, talking on his cell
phone, reading the paper and trying to eat a bowl of Fruit Loops at the
same time. He and the others around him are not safe. The reality is
that when we try to put our focus on too many things at once, we place
ourselves in a very vulnerable position.
In the book of Hebrews we find these words. Therefore, we also,
we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside
every weight, and the sin which so easily ensnares us, and let us run
with endurance the race that is set before us. (Hebrews 12:1
hear this verse quoted and used in sermons quite a bit. Most of the
time, it is in reference to the “great cloud of witnesses” and how we
should run the race. However, there is one part of this verse that I
think we sometimes overlook.
The writer of Hebrews tells us to “lay aside every weight” and also the
“sin that so easily ensnares us”. Just how do we become “ensnared” by
something? The idea behind the word is to catch something. In order to
catch or ensnare something, the thing that is to be caught needs to be
unaware of the plot against it.
When someone sets a trap for an animal, they have to disguise the trap
in order to lure the animal in. Most times, bait is used to attract the
animal to the trap. The animal heads for the bait, ready to enjoy a
nice meal, and suddenly the cage shuts and they cannot escape.
Just like the bait for that animal, or the cell phone for those
children in the study, we are too easily distracted by the things of
this world. We shift our focus on something other than God, and
suddenly the cage shuts behind us or we inadvertently step off the
street curb and into a world of sin and addiction from which we cannot
Today there are so many things calling for our attention. There are TV
commercials, billboards, cell phones, computers, Blackberrys, i-phones,
movies, sports, jobs, and…well, you get the idea. Sometimes it is very
difficult to find the time or the energy to give Him a little of that
focus. However, if we do not, we will find ourselves blind-sided by a
world that cares little for our well being.
What will you do this week to re-focus on your relationship with God?
all like sheep who've wandered off and gotten lost. We've all
done our own thing, gone our own way. And God has piled all our sins,
everything we've done wrong, on Him. (Isaiah 53:6 The Message)
who live according to the sinful nature have their minds set on
what that nature desires; but those who live in accordance with the
Spirit have their minds set on what the Spirit desires. The mind of
sinful man is death, but the mind controlled by the Spirit is life and
peace. (Romans 8:5-6 NIV)
All are welcome join us for worship at Edgefield First Baptist Sunday
mornings at 11 AM. For more information call us at 803-637-6139 or
visit our website where you will find weekly activities, church
information, or even listen to sermons online. Our web address is
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