I was a soccer mum for only a little while before we realised it probably wasn’t our four year old’s “thing”. I distinctly remember finding the games to be endlessly amusing while watching these little tots in their big shin pads and oversized uniforms pad their way up and down the field trying to work out where they should be, whose team they were on and where on earth did that ball go?
I’m sure there were parents though, who did not share my amusement when we consistently lost—perhaps partly due to my son’s distractions, social chatting and day-dreaming. What I thought was cute, was probably really annoying to those who wanted to win.
Look out for the planes!
One particular soccer match, the crowd of little four year olds ran in their cluster, with their eyes peeled to the ground as the ball went flying past their feet. Astounded that they didn’t trip over each other while being so focussed and bunched on the field, I was puzzled when all of a sudden the entire group stopped to look to the sky.
The game came to a stand-still as the young players stood in amazement at a low flying plane overhead. Despite the encouragement of the coach and competitive parents on the side-line to keep going, nothing was going to continue until that plane had disappeared. And then, just like that, eyes were back to the field and realisation showed on the pre-schooler’s faces as they recalled what they had been doing before the ‘amazing plane’ flew overhead.
Distractions – the good and the bad
Distractions are a fact of life. Some distractions are good and some are not so good. Sometimes we get so focussed on our work and the serious things of life, that a good distraction such as a wedding or holiday trip is just what we need to pull us out of our furrowed headspace and get us into a fresh frame of mind.
We can get so burrowed down with distractions of ‘must-do’s’ and time restraints that we forget to see the bigger picture of what is actually important. Sure, the game is important, but the wonder and awe those little children experienced in watching an enormous plane fly over them, put both teams on the same level for a moment in time as they shared in this astounding moment together.
The celestial eclipses normality
Living in such a highly contentious political time in history, some distractions are incredibly welcome. America recently witnessed The Great American Eclipse as it has been dubbed. Proceeding the August eclipse in America, an article was published in the Washington post entitled: We are all just mind-boggled:’ scenes from the total solar eclipse of 2017. In the 90 minutes it took for the country to witness this great phenomenon, all peoples, from lay workers to the President, were levelled as they stopped what they were doing to watch God’s great power at work.
“On Monday, life in America was put on hold—the nagging to do list, the deadlines at work, the political debates and divisions. Everything receded, overtaken by the celestial event of the century suddenly looming over America.”
Watching highlights of the eclipse here (and please do—it’s amazing!) you can see that it was a very emotional experience—it’s even emotional watching the video from the other side of the world!
Taking time out to remember how great our God is
While people cried, got tingles and stood in awe, there were still another group who were uninterested, downplaying the wonder of the eclipse like it happens all the time.
People will call it what they want, but there’s no denying God’s greatness. While the earth is filled with God’s glory, we are still only seeing a glimpse of what is yet to come. There will be incredible, unspeakable wonders in eternity. Our earthly bodies just can’t handle that kind of revelation and information yet.
1 Corinthians chapter 13 verse 12 says: ‘For now we see only a reflection as in a mirror; then we shall see face to face. Now I know in part; then I shall know fully, even as I am fully known.’
It is exciting when we think of the great God we serve
The Bible tells us of a man named Job who suffered incredible afflictions. After being mocked by his friends who thought they knew enough to accuse him that his suffering had being brought on him due to hidden sin, The Lord speaks out of the storm posing questions of the creation that didn’t require an answer, for only God in his great and awesome power could have done such amazing things and knows the reasons for events that happen.
“Where were you when I laid the earth’s foundation? Tell me, if you understand. Who marked off its dimensions? Surely you know! Who stretched a measuring line across it? On what were its footings set, or who laid its cornerstone—while the morning stars sang together and all the angels shouted for joy?” (Job chapter 38 verses 4-7)
We in our human wisdom sometimes think we are so very smart. But who are we really? We should be honoured and humbled that God, who is so great, would consider us children of his and this is where reverence and honour is birthed. We realise our smallness is great in his powerful love. We are unworthy, but God’s great love through his son Jesus, makes us worthy.
‘See what great love the Father has lavished on us, that we should be called children of God! And that is what we are! The reason the world does no know us is that it did not know him.’ (1 John chapter 3 verse 1)
So next time something wonderful happens, stop, absorb, lift your eyes heavenward and thank God for the good distractions.
originally published for Christian Today Australia, October 2017
(c) Rebecca Moore 2017