Distraction can be dangerous. The dangers of texting while driving should be apparent to all and as a result most states have made it illegal. Drivers need their full attention on the road. Tests have revealed that those so doing are as dangerous as those who are driving under the influence. It only takes a second for a lack of attention to cost one his life.
Some distract others for devious purposes. Teams of thieves who distract their prey for just a moment and pick their pockets.
Sometimes the distractions are by things that seem so innocent. For instance when Jesus visited the home of Mary and Martha they had two different reactions. Mary is said to have “sat at Jesus’ feet and heard His word” (Luke 10:39). But about Martha Luke records, she “was distracted with much serving” (Luke 10:40). She let something prevent her from listening to the Lord. She was distracted.
Now, let me mention a problem. It exists in many places and here as well. There are simply too many distractions in our worship. We may think they do not affect us, but they do others and perhaps ourselves more than we realize. Although it is not my purpose to be offensive, I must simply call attention to this with a confident expectation that it will be improved. Let me mention a few.
1. Playing with electronic devices. Many use their iPads, iPods, iPhones, etc. for their Bibles and/or to take notes. That is good. However, there is a temptation there for one to check their email, check their Facebook page, etc., rather than paying attention to the services.
2. Just a reminder, please set your cell phone to vibrate or just turn it off during services. It’s hard for the teacher to recover the attention of the class when some funny ring tones play.
3. Frequent visits to the restroom or water fountain can become a distraction. Sometimes people have medical issues which cannot be helped. However, for some it is a signal of being bored and they have developed a habit. Try make a visit to both the restroom and water fountain just prior to services and see if that will help.
4. Opening candy or cough drops. Sometimes people develop a cough and use a piece of candy to sooth the tickle. Be aware of how long it takes to open the candy. It can be really distracting to those nearby.
5. Wandering in the foyer during services. There are times when those who have coughs or other issues must sit in the foyer. However, one should not make it a practice to remain there during worship or Bible classes when they are healthy. And, if it necessary to be there, please do not talk. Others there may be distracted by your conversation.
6. Children are precious but even the best sometimes become unruly. Understandably parents do not want to take them out at the first sign of a whimper or else they will learn they get to go out. However, if a child acts up for some period of time then please consider the need to care for their needs out of the assembly.
[Article written by Tony Lawrence (McMinnville, TN), taken from Bremen Church of Christ (Bremen, GA) bulletin]