I thought to myself, “I will count the signs I see as I exit the freeway and drive the four blocks to the church building.” I was thinking about using the number of signs as an illustration of the many distractions we face in our daily lives.

Distractions can derail the most simple of trips, processes, and errands. For someone like me who lives on the ADD (Attention Deficit Disorder) side of the street, these distractions easily become a ricochet of focus. We forget our purpose, our mission, and our to-do lists regularly because of the flood of competing messages and tantalizing opportunities.

Before I made it half-way through my four blocks, I lost count. I was somewhere over the two-hundred mark. If I hoped to get close to the accurate number, I was going to have to slowly re-walk the short trip. Even going very slowly, there were too many signs to count. Well over four hundred signs were vying for my attention. They bombarded me with all sorts of messages.

How do we choose which voice to hear or which sign to follow? In a world full of noisy distractions and competing messages, how do we know which voice we should obey and which sign we should follow?

When it comes to the purpose of each of our own lives, who or what are we going to let set our agenda? Whose truth will we believe? Whose message will we heed?

As Jesus moved closer to Jerusalem for the final time, God made his answer clear. For the Lord’s closest three disciples, an incredible experience on the mountain became the tuning fork for their future:

Jesus took Peter, James and John with him and led them up a high mountain, where they were all alone. There he was transfigured before them. His clothes became dazzling white, whiter than anyone in the world could bleach them. And there appeared before them Elijah and Moses, who were talking with Jesus.

Peter said to Jesus, “Rabbi, it is good for us to be here. Let us put up three shelters — one for you, one for Moses and one for Elijah.” (He did not know what to say, they were so frightened.)

Then a cloud appeared and covered them, and a voice came from the cloud:

This is my Son, whom I love. Listen to him!”

(Mark 9:2-7).

We could spend a lot of time talking about how Moses and Elijah were God’s greatest teachers, leaders, prophets, and representatives in Jewish history. All that is true. The respect Moses and Elijah rightfully had was warranted. Still, the voice from heaven declared a re-orienting truth with absolute certainty. As important as Moses and Elijah may have been, those heroes of the past didn't compare to Jesus. Peter, James, and John must not allow anyone or anything to distract them:

This is my Son, whom I love. Listen to him!

In a world of competing voices, whose voice am I going to choose?

Which message will I use to orient my life and set my trajectory for the future?

With so many messengers and authorities vying for my attention, where will I find my truth?

Of the many intriguing teachers, Which one will I choose to set the direction for my life?

For the Lord’s closest three disciples, an incredible experience on the mountain became the tuning fork for their future.
Jesus is God’s ultimate message to me (John 1:1-18). No matter how or through whom God spoke in the past, in these days, he still speaks through Jesus (Hebrews 1:1-3). God’s message on the mountain to the three closest disciples of Jesus still speaks through the centuries to remind me:

This is my Son, whom I love. Listen to him!

Will I listen? Will I choose to make his example and teaching my source of truth, my guide for the future, and my hope in the storms of life? Will Jesus be more than my religious mascot? Will his truth shape my life or will I try to redefine what he taught by what I want, feel, and believe?

With so many competing visions for my life, just saying that I follow Jesus isn’t enough. His story in Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John must be the dominant voice I choose to hear. His life must be the example that re-engineers my own. His cross must be the imprint on my heart that re-shapes my character and inspires my compassion. Anything else, or anyone else, is less. We must not settle for less than Jesus. As God said:

This is my Son, whom I love. Listen to him!

Special thanks for the use of the Jesus images in Phil's blog, "The Jesus Window," to Free Bible Images and the The Lumo Project.