Living the Dory Lifestyle As A Christ Follower: Are Bright Shiny Objects Making You Lose Focus?

Posted: February 17, 2015 in Uncategorized
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Luke 10:1-16 — Today, as we move forward in this passage, we look at Luke 10:4 where Jesus says, “Don’t take any money with you, nor a travel bag, nor an extra pair of sandals, and don’t stop to greet anyone on the road.” What was the point of this instruction and what does it mean to us today? It reminds me of Dory on the movie, Finding Nemo. She would be talking to Nemo’s dad and would be easily distracted by “bright shiny objects” and she would forget what she was talking about. On the movie “Up”, the talking dog was distracted by “squirrel!” These are animated examples.

Let’s make it real life. To kind of illustrate the point, I know that there are many stay-at-home-moms or stay-at-home-wives out there. I think that they can relate to this point being made by Jesus. Being a stay-at-home wife/mother requires a great amount of self-discipline. You are basically your own boss. You direct yourself and the tasks that you have to accomplish each day. You can be very easily distracted too if you allow it to happen. One phone call can change your day. One sick child can change your day. Seeing something that needs doing right now can distract you from your original plan. You start one thing and run into something else that needs doing and that something else makes you drop what you were intending to do. If a housewife or stay at home mom is so easily distracted, a lot of things get started but none get completed when intended. For a wife who used to work in the workplace, the self-discipline required to be an effective housewife and/or stay at home mom can take some adjustment. You must have the same discipline in the home as any person who works outside the home. Housewives must have to-do lists for the month, the week, and the day and overriding goals just like their husbands do at their jobs outside the home, just like their fellow ladies who work outside the home. They must keep focus in order to have their home run smoothly. It is this focus, this self-disciple of which Jesus speaks to his disciples and to us through the centuries as His followers.

Jesus’ message to His disciples is that if you take money with you on this trip, it will be a distraction. You will be concerned with protecting it, keeping it, storing it, spending it. You name it when it comes to money. It will be a distraction to them. Same with stuff. Travel bags and sandals are all possessions. The late George Carlin had a great stand-up comedy bit called “a place for my stuff.” We build houses to contain our stuff. We have storage buildings for our stuff. When we leave home for a trip, we have suitcases for our stuff. We always have to have some stuff with us. We are preoccupied with our stuff. It is a distraction. Just think of it. We once had a friend of ours play a trick on us while we were out of town and it makes this point hit home. While we were at the beach for a weekend getaway a couple of years ago, a friend pranked us by texting that while riding by our house, he noticed our garage door was open. We freaked out. We ended up calling the Spartanburg County Sheriff’s Department to send a cruiser by our house to check on it. We were so distracted for those several hours that we forgot what we were in Myrtle Beach for – to enjoy a weekend getaway. Jesus, through these instructions to His disciples, is telling us today that we cannot be so preoccupied with our possessions that we miss the kingdom of God. We cannot use our possessions as excuses for why we cannot participate in the expansion of God’s kingdom. What is our God? Our possessions or Jesus Christ? Do we say, “You know I would go on a mission trip if it were not for…” Do we say, “I would tithe, but I have this house we just bought and there’s the notes on the these two new cars, and then there’s the boat, our timeshare, the motorcycles…” Let us put the Kingdom of God first and if there anything left over give it to our stuff instead of the other way around. That’s the message.

Jesus also told them not to greet anyone on the road while on their way to their destination city. Wow, that seems almost out of character for what we think of Jesus. He would encounter anyone it seems. He is Jesus the super social guy who spent His ministry among the people. 95% of what Jesus said in the Bible was outside the synagogues. He was a people person. Why would He tell his disciples this? Regardless of what kind of people or where it was He met people and stopped to encounter them, He never let His goal of heading toward Jerusalem to do what He came to do get out of focus. Everything He did was pointing toward that Good Friday. Everything He did was training for His disciples for the aftermath of that Friday and His resurrection on that following Sunday. He stayed focused. Jesus, understanding that His disciples were human, had given them a very specific task to do in a short period of time. These factors made it important for them to stay focused and get the job done. Stopping to greet someone would have taken time away from their task at hand. What does this say to us today though? Like the housewife who lets a phone call get her all turned around from what she planned to do for the day, we too can be distracted by worldly distractions when we are intending to work for the kingdom. We can let those distractions take days, weeks, and even years away from us following the calling of God on our lives. Believe me, I know. I have felt the call to ministry since I was saved at age 39 however I let worldly distractions get in the way. I greeted other things on the way. I let life take over instead of preparing myself for what the calling was. I needed to get my life in order. I needed to get myself ready. I needed to be in a position where saints could help equip me for my journey into ministry. But worldly “conversations”, worldly distractions, worldly excuses, worldly laziness, and listening to Satan’s reasoning for why I should not follow my calling. Satan will certainly attempt to distract us from our mission from Jesus because He has to so as to keep his grip on the world. Satan will distract us through thoughts, through other people, through distractions. We can’t stop for the distractions. God is with us and He will make a way for us. He would not call us to ministry or whatever it is He has called you to do without providing you a way to get there. He is God after all. All He asks from us is total focus on Him in every aspect of our lives. Not our stuff. Not our shortcomings. Not our distractions. Focus on what He gave us to do and He will make the path. He will make the way. We must start the journey and stay focused on what He gives us to do. He will make provision for us along the way to where He wants us to go.


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