It is the week before Thanksgiving and already things are in place for what is to come. The main course and all the trimmings have been planned to such an extent that everyone knows exactly what they are to bring and when they are to arrive. It has even been decided where everything will be placed on the table and where everyone will sit. The day comes and goes and there is very little time to enjoy the people who share the meal.

It is two weeks before Christmas and most of the presents are under the tree. Some were purchased right after Christmas last year. The house is decorated with great care. Christmas morning has been planned down to when each gift will be opened. The morning comes and goes all according to schedule, but little time is given to enjoying the people who open their gifts.

The wedding has been planned since before you were born. You mother has always envisioned you walking down the aisle in your wedding dress. Your husband's parents have prayed and dreamed of who his wife would one day be. As the big day approaches the final preparations are made as the tension rises and pressure builds to make sure everything is just right. As you walk down the aisle with your father you have this thought: "This is happening too fast. I wish I could slow it down."

The gospel of Luke records this story about distractions:

As Jesus and his disciples were on their way, he came to a village where a woman named Martha opened her home to him. She had a sister called Mary, who sat at the Lord's feet listening to what he said. But Martha was distracted by all the preparations that had to be made. She came to him and asked, "Lord, don't you care that my sister has left me to do the work by myself? Tell her to help me!"

"Martha, Martha," the Lord answered, "you are worried and upset about many things, but only one thing is needed. Mary has chosen what is better, and it will not be taken away from her." (Luke 10:38-42, NIV)

It's easy to get distracted.

It seems that one of our favorite pastimes is planning. We plan dream vacations that we will never forget. We plan trips that are supposed to change our lives. We plan celebrations to commemorate special days and make memories that will last a lifetime. If we are not very careful we will lose the event in the planning.

It's easy to get distracted.
In the story from Luke Jesus does not criticize Martha for planning, for making the preparations. His concern is that she is missing the most important part of the event. She is missing time with Him.

Does this sound familiar? Have you missed the event, the people, and the joy of the event because of the distractions that come with planning? Have you worked so hard to plan for retirement that you have missed life with your family? Have you worked so hard to leave something for your children only to miss your children?

Have you been distracted by all the preparations?

It's not too late to change things. Leave the meal preparations to someone else. Let the dishes sit for a while. Stay home instead of traveling. Plan wisely for the future but stop living only in the future. Live today. Worship today. Enjoy life today. Enjoy your friends and your family today. Don't allow all the distractions of the preparations rob you of the joys of today.

Start right now.