I was at a conference a couple of years ago, one held at a lovely facility set in picturesque surroundings with lots of spaces and modern conveniences, and I am grateful for the opportunity to learn much. One of the problems I faced, however, was the distractions that do not assist me in being able to fully pay attention and focus on the materials being offered.
Now, to be fair, my personality type is very easily distracted, but I have checked in with some of my fellow participants and discovered that some of these things were obstacles to concentration by a large proportion of us.
The first issue we encountered was the heating, or should I say cooling, in the auditorium. Every now and again, for no apparent reason, it felt as if an icy wind was blowing directly onto us straight from the Antarctic. I was dressed appropriately for the weather outside, but I was not prepared for the need to ‘rug up’ for the indoors. As I glanced around the room I noticed the familiar rubbing of hands and arms from fellow chilled conference delegates, and was reassured to know it was not my own internal thermostat at play here.
Then there were the microphone levels. They started off too quiet to clearly pick up the voice of the softer-spoken presenters, then to counteract that, the next session they were turned up so loud that there was a high pitched buzz with every syllable uttered. So first we were straining with all our audible might to decipher the wisdom being shared, and then we were trying to tune out the annoying extra sounds crowing in on the information we were trying to focus on.
Lastly, there was the multimedia elements, video clips that wouldn’t play, and when the vision started working the audio wouldn’t and vice versa. This last scenario caused the most discussion over morning tea time as the rest of us ‘experts’ were suggesting what the latest glitch could have been caused by. The general consensus was that either one of the switches was set to the wrong input channel, or a cord had been plugged into the wrong connection. Either way, the outcome was that the message was more difficult to extract.
Sometimes my communication with God is like that. I may be impacted by the elements around me that hinder His message getting through. I can find myself distracted by my own comforts, or I’m not tuned in correctly, or the other sounds in my life can drown out His voice, or I’m not plugged in to the appropriate channels to allow His message to sink in. Just like the information I was privileged to receive at the conference despite the minor hiccups, God’s message is well worth persevering to hear. Why don’t you give it a go?