In Exodus Chapter 7, God says to Moses "When Pharaoh says to you, 'Perform a miracle,' then say to Aaron, "Take your staff and throw it down before Pharaoh, and it will become a snake." (7:8-9)
I would imagine Moses is doubtful that Aaron's staff could become a snake, but he trusts God and does what is asked of him. "So Moses and Aaron went to Pharaoh and did just as the Lord commanded. Aaron threw his staff down in front of Pharaoh and his officials, and it became a snake." (7:10)
Imagine being Moses for a day. You wake up. You listen to God. God tells you what to do. You go do it.
When Moses was heading over to the Pharaoh, before the whole staff/snake thing was about to go down, he didn't send an Evite to his friends. He didn't go live on Facebook or Instagram. He didn't take a shot of tequila to calm his nerves. He simply walked across the desert and completed his assignment. He woke up the next day and did it again. And again. And again.
The Latin root of the word "distract" is "distrahere."
"Dis" = apart
"Trahere" = to draw
Distract = To draw apart
I bet you didn't think you'd get a Bible lesson AND a Latin lesson on the same day!
I love a good distraction, don't you? Our brains are wired to seek out pleasure. So if something is worrying or unpleasant, it's in our nature to do something different. Something more pleasurable.
Unlike in Moses' time, today's society is fully equipped to handle our need for distraction; food, alcohol, drugs, sex, shopping, TV, social media ... If something is worrying or unpleasant, there are endless distractions to choose from.
But back to the Latin lesson; "to draw apart." Do you ever feel like you are being drawn apart?
You want to lose twenty pounds but you surrender to ice cream binges every night.
You want to be consistent with exercise but family, kids, work, happy hour, or something else always seems to get in the way.
You want to be happier but you spend hours a day on Instagram going down the dark spiral of "comparison-schlager."
I am glad I don't live in the time of Moses, but I think we can learn from the simplicity of his life. A life with fewer distractions.
Eliminating distractions is simple, but not easy. When we consciously choose against a distraction, we consciously choose to deal with the unpleasant emotions instead. We are consciously choosing to do the work.
When I am feeling drawn apart, I lean into a day more like that of Moses. Aligning myself with God and walking in His purpose. Maybe throwing down a staff or two, if He asks.