Distracted by people

Our pastor, who had planted our church 18 years ago, recently accepted a call to another church. This past weekend was Brett’s last time to preach at cession before beginning the family’s transition to their new church. He shared that when growing up, there was a common comment in the reports his parents received from his teachers – ‘Brett is often distracted by people’.

That comment stuck with me. Since then, I’ve spent some time flipping through the gospels. Have you ever realised this comment could have been written on Jesus’s ‘report card’ as well? ‘[God], your son, Jesus, is often distracted by people.’ Pick your gospel and find sections that speak of Jesus’s miracles or interactions with people. I suspect many of them paint the picture of Jesus being on his way, happens to see a need, and stops to respond. My favourite is Luke 19 – as Jesus is passing through Jericho, he notices a short guy in a tree. It makes me think of driving through Huntly (Most of my trips involving Huntly are me passing through) and how non-observant I am on those trips. Yet, when passing through Jericho, Jesus not only saw Zacchaeus but He seems to have adjusted His plan so he could stay with him and be a guest at his home. Luke tells us that because Jesus was willing to be distracted by Zacchaeus, ‘salvation has come to [Zacchaeus’s] house.’

After this, it’s difficult for me to see this comment as one identifying a weakness in someone. It’s actually a blessing to be known as one who is distracted by people. What would our communities, our workspaces, our families, our teams, and our schools look like if we made 2023 a year we would be distracted by people?
It’s a challenge I put to our office team and I’d encourage you to consider it as well.