“Joseph and his mother . . supposing (Jesus) to have been in the company.” Luke 2:43 NKJV

Distracted with lesser things of life, you can be negligent of matters crucial to your soul.”

My thoughts today are about “distractions.”

Remember the “Home Alone” movie? The large, extended family of Kevin McAllister are going to Paris, France, for Christmas and in their rush for everyone to get to the airport on time, nine year old Kevin is left home alone. Realizing their young son was missing, his parents were frantic, while at home he contentedly occupied himself.

Similarly, in today’s Bible verse, Joseph and Mary, along with twelve year old Jesus and a company of family and friends, came to Jerusalem for Passover. Then in the process of returning home to Nazareth, they traveled a day before realizing Jesus was not with them as they supposed. Joseph and Mary were far from being inattentive parents, you would properly assume. I think that happens everyday with a lot of us, don’t you?

Maybe they became distracted by necessary things, assuming that Jesus was somewhere nearby among the family and friends with whom they traveled. Retracing their steps and returning to Jerusalem, “after three days they found Him in the Temple.” vs. 46. Can you imagine Joseph and Mary’s concern during those three days? Ask any parent; their worst fear would be to lose track of the whereabouts of a young child.

But before you judge Joseph and Mary’s apparent and accidental inattention too quickly, consider this: has your own busyness caused you to lose sight of Jesus? That’s more than likely true sometime, isn’t it? In anyone’s life, it is easy to become so busy and distracted in the rush and routines of everyday life that you can lose sight of the vital, personal closeness to Jesus that is essential to your spiritual life and growth.

Unnoticeably, the urgent displaces the truly important; the temporary nudges aside the eternal. You don’t mean for that to happen; you are just distracted. “They made me the keeper of the vineyards, but my own vineyard have I not kept” Song of Solomon 1:6 NKJV. Sometimes while you are busy about lesser things unintentionally, you can be negligent of more crucial matters. See Luke 10:40-42 NIV.

After almost 50 years, I still keep a yellowing letter my Dad wrote me in while in college. My studies had distracted me from my clear sense of God’s call and purpose for my life. My Dad related my distraction and confusion to his own experience as a young student, advising me with these words, “Go back to the last place where you had the peace of God and were sure of God’s will.” When I returned there, God’s peace returned to my heart. See Isaiah 30:15 NLT.

The answer for you and I is the same as it was for Joseph and Mary. “When they did not find Jesus, they returned to Jerusalem, seeking Him.” vs.45. When they did not find Jesus where they were, they returned to where they were last with Him! If you ever find that to be true of you, do the same.

When your heart turns toward Jesus, you will find that He was there all the time. “Looking away from all that will distract to Jesus, Who is the Leader and Source of your faith . . I (Jesus) stand at the door and knock. If any man hears My voice and opens the door, I will come in and eat with him and he with Me.” Hebrews 12:2 Amplified/Revelation 3:20 NIV. Don’t lose sight of the One who makes life better.

My prayer for you: keep the main thing the main thing, and all that really matters is Jesus.