The first distraction. My hairdresser texted me, asking if she could move my 12:30 appointment to later in the day—a text I saw only minutes before leaving for town. I texted her back, asking her what time, because I had a meeting later that day.
“Should I come now?” I typed. “It takes me about 45 minutes to get into town. So, I’m on my way with a shopping list and book in case I need to wait.”
On my way to town, I stopped for gas and checked my cell phone. Still no answer.
I inserted my credit card into the reader and waited for the prompts. Strange code appeared on the screen—apparently, the station was rebooting their system. The second distraction.
I removed my card then tried again. This time, I received the enter zip code prompt. I would remember later: there was no prompt to remove my card. Thinking about my shopping list—the third distraction—I pumped gas then checked my cell phone before starting the car.
“No worries,” my hairdresser had texted, “See you at 12:30.”
Later, while checking out at the grocery store, I realized I didn’t have my credit card. I wrote a check and immediately drove back to the gas station. Alas, my card was gone.
Because of distraction.
As soon as I got home, I called the bank and reported my card lost or stolen. They closed the account, issued me a new card, and reviewed to-date charges to make sure all were mine. After I hung up, I made a list of online accounts using that card number: Amazon, Apple, PayPal, and so forth. Then I climbed the stairs to the loft and asked Keith for his credit card.
“I want to pay medical bills on MyChart, and both the internet and electric bills,” I explained. “The mail is slow these days, so I pay all the bills I can online.”
Keith shrugged and handed me his credit card. “Makes sense.” He wasn’t upset by my lapse, but I was.
“All of this happened because I got distracted.” I sighed. “But I’m human, and that means I’ll make mistakes. How I deal with them is the test of my character.”
Keith nodded—he knew I was mostly talking to myself. And that tests are opportunities to bring out the best in us.
Apparently, I wasn’t done beating myself up about getting distracted. I dreamed I was clearing fallen branches at my parents’ house. As soon as I made a little progress, the dream shifted. Immediately, I was in a cooking class, making large quantities of something. I needed to find containers for ingredients and the final product, but never found them because the dream shifted again. This time, I was at a writing conference, attending an editing workshop.
Good grief—I couldn’t even finish a dream without distraction. I woke up laughing. And that’s the best of me.
This morning, Keith and I woke to this scene. A wondrous distraction. In my head, I heard the lyrics to Cat Steven’s song “Morning Has Broken.”
Praise with elation, praise every morning, God’s recreation of the new day.
What distracts you?
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