Distraction is a Basket
"No one lights a lamp and then hides it or puts it under a basket. Instead, a lamp is placed on a stand, where its light can be seen by all who enter the house." - Luk 11:33 NLT
When I was younger I spent a whole lot of time playing video games. One of my favorites games was The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim. Relatively early on in the game, I realized that if I placed a basket (or a bucket or a pot) over a merchant’s head I could rob them blind, and somehow they had no idea that it was happening. This is the point where I insert that my fire-wielding elf had very little scruples and the woman controlling her was pre-Jesus. So I exploited this lapse in video game logic often. How foolish those shopkeepers looked, standing there with a basket covering their head as though nothing was happening to them while their very livelihood was being stolen right from under their nose.
How foolish must we look, when we walk around with a basket covering our heads, hiding the light that God put in us to shine?
Recently in my quiet time, the Lord dropped something into my spirit. He said, “Distraction is a basket.” I knew at once what the personal application was, but I was curious about what the Bible said about distractions. So I began searching…then I got distracted.
I get distracted by so many things, sometimes they are good things, things that need to be done. But in the spirit of forthrightness, they are not always good things. Often they are dead things -- things that carry no life, no purpose: endless scrolling on my cellphone, some TV show that my girls have on, a conversation that need not be had. Sometimes I feel like my day is a continual battle between these distractions and the voice of God. I hear Him whisper--a call to come and sit with Him--and then my cellphone goes off, or the call I need to make comes to mind, or I think of a question I need to look up ‘real quick’ and just like that I am off, and the moment is lost. My distraction is a basket and it is hindering the light that I’ve been called to shine.
"No one lights a lamp and then hides it or puts it under a basket. Instead, a lamp is placed on a stand, where its light can be seen by all who enter the house. Your eye is a lamp that provides light for your body. When your eye is good, your whole body is filled with light. But when it is bad, your body is filled with darkness. Make sure that the light you think you have is not actually darkness. If you are filled with light, with no dark corners, then your whole life will be radiant, as though a floodlight were filling you with light."
- Luke 11:33-36 NLT
There is so much meat in this passage, but the thing that God revealed to me is this: our eye is our perspective, how we see the world, and hence how we navigate the world. Using the basket of distraction, our enemy is coming against our eye being made good because once it is then we become a floodlight for the kingdom. We don’t become some weak little light flickering in and out in the darkness but a light that draws the lost and hurting to itself, and therefore to the One that is its source.
“No one lights a lamp and then puts it under a basket. Instead, a lamp is placed on a stand, where it gives light to everyone in the house. In the same way, let your good deeds shine out for all to see, so that everyone will praise your heavenly Father.”
- Matthew 5:15-16 NLT
I believe there are two ways this basket keeps us bound, one is by distracting us from our intimacy with God, and the other is distracting us from being His hands and feet. The latter type of distraction looks like being glued to our cellphones and missing the person sitting beside us in a waiting room or being so caught up in the timeline of our day that we miss the person at our job who is hurting and in need of light. Both of these types of distraction lead back to a wrong perspective, to selfish or self-serving motivations. If how we navigate life is still selfish then we end up missing opportunities to be the light. We wind up walking around with a basket on our heads because taking it off is too costly.
I guess that’s the point, that’s what He was getting at all along. Shining will cost us something, it may cost us our comfort, our entertainment, our time, our money, our reputation, or any other number of things. Shining isn’t cheap, it was never meant to be. However, we didn’t sign up for cheap, but if you did I am incredibly sorry that the gospel was grossly misrepresented to you. This is an all-in kind of thing, this is a die to yourself commitment and anything less than that leaves us with a bad eye. The last thing I want to do is find out that the light that I thought that I was shining ended up spreading darkness, that my deeds were useless because I was disconnected from the source.
Today, I need to stand against my distractions, I need to focus on the mission and the people that I’ve been placed on my lampstand to shine for. Today I refuse to wear a basket so that all praise will go to my heavenly Father for He is worthy of it all.
Written by Amanda Strauser