scripture + distraction = ?

I was reading my scriptures this morning in 3rd Nephi 11. I love that chapter, so this is the second or third time I've read it this week (which is why I have a weird scripture study pattern). I was reading in the first part of the chapter where God was introducing Christ. God spoke 3 times to the people, and the first two times they hear but don't really understand what He is saying. When they finally understand, "Behold my Beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased", I'm sure they perked up.

Ironically, during this part, I was still reading but my mind started to drift off somewhere else, thinking of good things (visiting teaching to be exact) but not really comprehending the verses. When I got to that verse, I perked up, too. I read the next verse when Christ starts to descend from the heavens. Suddenly, all my attention was focused and I felt guilty for having skimmed over the first part of the chapter. Once more, I started over.

It got me thinking. How many times do we do that? When we're trying to be focused on the best things, only to get caught up on other things? Not to say that other things are bad; of course not! Logistics of visiting teaching need to be thought out and visiting teaching is very much an important part of the Gospel and our lives. Lots of our distractions are made up of good things.

However, we need to make sure that our first priorities are the best things. God. The Gospel. Family. I wonder, if I were a Nephite, would I have understood God's voice the first time? Or, like when I read about it this morning, would I have been distracted by something that was good but not as important at the present moment?

No wonder patience is required of us. Half the time, we're (excuse me, I can only speak for myself) I am messing up and getting distracted. Most times I don't always get answers in the way I think they should come or in my time frame. Maybe Heavenly Father is testing me to see if I'm really listening, really ready for the answer. Maybe it's just something that I can decide so He lets me. Or maybe sometimes He is trying to talk to me, but I'm just not hearing it, like in 3rd Nephi 11. "Not hearing it" can come in many ways, including not accepting it or not being willing or ready to act on it.

Anyway, this was a nice little experience to remind me to focus on the best things first. The lesser good things can wait. (By the way, that link is one of my favorites- it would be well worth your time to read or re-read that.)
"When we put God first, all other things fall into their proper place or drop out of our lives." Ezra Taft Benson sure knew what he was talking about.


Zachary said...

Kristin! This was a fabulous post. It is amazing how it took the Nephites three times to actually "open their ears and hear" that Christ was coming. This s also one of my favorite chapters and I read it with a lot of investigators on my mission. It is very powerful and strongly testifies of Christ and about how God loves all of His children. It is a fulfillment of the words of Christ when he said, "other sheep I have, which are not of this fold: them also I must bring, and they shall hear my voice and there shall be one fold, and one shepherd" (John 10:16).

I also love that quote by President Ezra Taft Benson. When we do put the Lord first, He is able to direct our lives in the way that we need to go. He knows what is best for us, and when we put Him first, He blesses us abundantly. It really makes you think about your own life and where you are putting God and all the other things that are going on.

Thanks for the awesome post.

Alie said...

So wonderful! thank you for sharing.

All About Austins said...

Thats a great reminder to us all. sometimes its really hard to stay focused when we are being pulled so many different directions. ( I know I have a hard time.) but, alas, we know whats right....sometimes I just get distracted from being distracted and I have to completely stop, and focus again.

Define Heather said...

Thanks for sharing. Love the quote.

Tyson Murphy said...

oh look i found your blog. we were in intro to animation. i think i saw you in the bookstore the other day.

Debbie said...

I like that you were able to pull such a great meaning from some verses that might get interpreted as "nice".
You know, I love the "ah-ha!" moments in life. What I don't like is my failure to act on those moments so much. Filtering out the "best" things is something I've learned has to be done EVERY DAY. And it's difficult because the Adversary is very sneaky about slipping in a whole lot of good. I guess it just goes to show how important listening - really listening, not just hearing - is.