Saturday, September 27, 2008

Day 9: Focused, Part One

…Sanballat and Geshem sent word to me, saying, “Come, let us meet together in one of the villages in the plain of Ono.” But they thought to do me harm. And I sent messengers to them, saying, “I am doing a great work, so I cannot come down. Why should the work cease, while I leave it, and come down to you?” (Neh. 6:2-3)

In Nehemiah’s case this was an outright attempt at assassination. Thankfully, most of the distractions we face aren’t quite so dangerous! Still, it’s worth looking at the reasons Nehemiah did not leave Jerusalem and the work site.

First, it was a waste of time. Nehemiah couldn’t afford the delay. The work would cease while he was gone, or at least his very important portion of that work.

Second, it was a waste of resources. Nehemiah was an important person whose life was at risk, and for him to travel to Ono, some 25 or 30 miles away, would mean diverting money, supplies, and pulling men off the job to form a military escort.

Finally, anything useful that could come of such a meeting was simply not as important as what he was already doing. He was already engaged in a “great work” and he had no time for lesser things which would sap his energy and split his focus.

Like Nehemiah, let’s learn to spot unnecessary distractions before they can “assassinate” our work and take us miles off course from where we need to be.

God, cause us to see that you have called us to a great work and like Nehemiah, we cannot come down. Give us the grace to not only commit to Your work, to not only begin well, but to finish well also. Thank-you for giving us fresh insight into those things which would rob our time through the power of distraction.

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