A favorite bedtime book series I read to our kids when they were little began with “If You Give A Mouse a Cookie.” The series continues with subsequent titles revolving around giving a pig a party, a cat a cupcake, a moose a muffin, a dog a donut, and so on.
In each book, there is a restless animal character whose activity at any given moment triggers them to a new activity until a hilarious trail of misadventure and distraction eventually leads them full circle to where they began. There may be deeper themes (that children’s literature experts can see) but that was my simple takeaway as an everyday mom.
Years into my role as an everyday mom, I found myself like the animals in the books, starting one simple thing like going for a cup of coffee, leading me to notice something amiss in the kitchen and remedying that only to be distracted by new triggers and tasks over and over before getting back to my original goal.
Okay, I’ll be honest. Nothing really distracts me from my first daily coffee, but I needed a quick example, and coffee came to mind first. You get the picture.
Many bloggers have written about the connection between this same children’s book series and very busy, easily distracted people circling around before reaching (or not) their original goal.
As I get older, I find the plot has changed in that after setting out on an original goal, and being distracted on the way, I simply cannot remember what I set out to do in the first place. But that is another conundrum for another time.
My favorite distraction account in scripture (John 4:1-42) could be told like this:
If you give a woman a pot to draw water from a well, she will meet Jesus there.
He will ask her for water and tell her He can give her living water to quench her thirst forever.
Then she will be curious and ask more questions about this water, and Jesus will tell her everything about her life that would be impossible for a stranger to know and eventually confirm He is the Messiah.
And then the woman will leave her waterpot behind to go back and tell her neighbors “Come, see a man, which told me all things that I ever did: is not this the Christ?”
Completely abandoning her initial task to share what she found so that her village could return with her back to Jesus, where they learned from Him for two days…what a wonderful circle of distraction she encountered that day!
Today, we may already know Jesus as the Savior of the world, but we can still allow ourselves occasionally to be distracted by Him as we go about our daily tasks. It may be a thought or a song that runs through your mind, or you suddenly recall a sermon or lesson you recently heard in church. In those moments, abandon your pot for a pause to drink it all in, thanking God for quenching your busy, distracted soul with living water. There is nothing more important than that.
Editor’s note: This is an especially busy time of year! Leave a comment about how God tends to distract you from the hustle-bustle of life and focuses you on Him.
This article has undergone ministry review and approval.