My husband and I have the opportunity to travel a lot for his work. We find ourselves attending church in many different places during the course of a year. This particular Sunday we were in Edmonton, Canada. Three people had been asked to speak that day. Two teenagers spoke followed by an adult. After the meeting I spoke with one of the teenages by the name of Foster. I share his “I’m Not Wearing a Tie” comments with his permission. Please imagine listening to him saying the following:
I feel a little funny standing before you today. You see, I’m not wearing a tie. Mom saw me upstairs before I left home and said, “Foster, don’t forget your tie.” Well, I wanted a few more minutes to go over my talk before my ride came, so I went downstairs to the living room. And I forgot my tie. The driver of the car didn’t notice, or at least he didn’t say anything to me. I spoke with the elders, and they either didn’t notice or didn’t say anything. Neither did the bishop. I guess it’s okay, but I still feel just a bit underdressed.”
From there Foster went on with his talk to tell about some special ways he was caring for and ministering to a friend. It was a good talk. He had heartfelt experiences to share, just the kind of talk one would enjoy on a Sunday morning. It was well prepared and well delivered.
Honestly, I doubt most of us would have noticed that he wasn’t wearing a tie, except that he mentioned it. He was wearing a white shirt, buttoned up all the way, a vest, and a jacket. All of which is perfectly acceptable for Sunday dress. What Foster didn’t know, or intend, until later when I spoke with him, “I forgot my tie” became a mini sermon all on its own for me.
How many times do we start each day with good intentions? If you are like me, that’s a daily event. Keep in mind I am not a list maker. Maybe if I made that a habit, I would do better. But I find myself frequently distracted. It’s quite easy to start into the bedroom with the intent to put some socks in the drawer. I set the socks down and realize the bed’s not been made. So I make the bed. As I walk around the bed, the curtains need to be opened to allow the light of the day to flood the room. I might see a pair of earrings on the nightstand so I reach for those and put them in the jewelry box. Then I walk out of the room, socks still sitting where I had left them, and that wasn’t in the drawer!
We live in a world that has become very busy, very noisy and very distracting. Distractions come in a multitude of forms. Daily tasks as I mentioned above can be one. The variety of media in our lives can be another. There’s mail, television, music, emails. Our parents and grandparents would never have believed that a telephone could be so captivating! We can play games, watch movies, and carry on text conversations for hours. I know! I’m guilty! It can also be a good place to keep that list. It can even be used to set off an alert to remind us of important events so we can be on time and more prepared. A carpenter or a mechanic might carry a tool in his back pocket. Do you use your phone as a helpful tool?
Now, life happens. Our good intentions can readily be set aside to take care of the everyday occurrences of caring for a crying child or responding to the unexpected emergency. Sometimes we might even be out and about and run into an old friend and a conversation starts and before we realize it, an hour might go by. But other times we just become complacent. We allow distractions to eat up our time and energy on things that really aren’t that important. Perhaps it can be as simple as setting up (and writing down!) just one or two goals for each day. Is there something that you feel is interfering with your progress each day? Could be that all you need to do is to remember to wear your tie?