Tuesday, November 3, 2015

The Grateful Heart: Avoiding Distractions


Today, I'm grateful for the God-designed job that matched a sometimes distractible young man with a company whose decor is designed to avoid distraction.

That's Ryan's photo ID, made yesterday on the first day of orientation for his new job. He's a software engineer for Square, Inc

For those who don't know, Square is a financial services, merchant services, and mobile payment company based in San Francisco. Ryan will be working in the Atlanta office. 

Square markets (among other things) the "square" banking card readers that are now being used by small businesses and entrepreneurs. The "square" allows processing of debit and credit cards via smart phones and tablets. It has been called a "disruptive innovation" because it is expected to not only disrupt, but also displace, current modes of electronic banking. They also have Square Cash, Square Register, and Square Payroll.

Ryan will be helping engineer the coding/software that makes all this possible.

I had worried that the "big city" and "corporate headquarters" would be distracting for Ryan, this his mind might be drawn away from his sensible self to the lavish life of a major corporation.

I need not have worried. Every need has already been met. 

As we've texted back and forth the last two days, I've been amazed at their corporate headquarters. The building has an almost-industrial decor. It's lean and, to my eye, a little homogenous, though they do have bright red chairs in the lobby to add a pop of color. 

As I looked through the photos this morning, I realized the method in the madness. No pictures on the wall and limited decor "extras" are not likely cost-savings efforts in a $6 billion dollar corporation. The decor avoids distractions for their workers and helps them keep their eye on the goal of accurate financial transactions.

Although I'm not sure the founders of Square realize it, avoiding distraction is a Biblical concept.

When Jesus visited with Mary and Martha, Mary sat at his feet and listened to every word. "But Martha was distracted with all her preparations" (Luke 10:40) When she was distracted, Martha looked at her sister, soaking in every word Jesus spoke, and became irritated. "She needs to quit listening and start working," Martha told Jesus. (This is the Leanna Paraphrase.) What she didn't say, but clearly thought was, "Jesus, it's a lot of work to take good care of you and your disciples. It's too much for me. Send Mary to help." 

Jesus' goal was spending time with Mary and Martha, not eating a fancy dinner. To Jesus, His goal was the only one that mattered. He made it easy to meet the goal. Sit down. Take your eyes off the food and step away from the kitchen. Come to Me. Sit. Focus on Me.

Jesus didn't call Martha to service. He called her to relationship.

Just as Square, Inc. has made conscious decisions in decor that help avoid distractions, we, too, need to make decisions in our lives that limit distractions from the call of Christ and our relationship with Him. Do the places we go, the things we buy, the entertainments we choose bring us closer to Jesus or distract us from Him? 

"Only one thing is necessary," Jesus told Martha. 

Unless service flows out of the relationship, it's simply a distraction.

His goal for us is no different, so let's pare away the distractions and cling to what remains.

The goal, the one thing that's necessary, is our relationship with the Most High God and His Suffering Servant, Ever Loving Son. 

Jesus. Let's keep our focus on Him.
ps - I got the information about Square, Inc. from their Wiki page, rather than from Ryan. 
In case you missed any of the past week's posts, here are the links:  Maggie: Avoiding the LightMaggie: Sister Love and the Body of ChristMaggie: Forgiving and ForgettingMaggie: Being Light,  The Grateful Heart: Predawn Stillness, and The Grateful Heart: The Orchestration of God.

The most read posts of the past week: (for the first time ever there's a tie) Maggie:Forgiving and Forgetting and Maggie: Being Light.

Here's the link to The Clay Papers, available as an e-book for personal use or to send as a gift for only 99 cents. 

Here's the link for The Road to Bethlehem: An Advent Prayer and Devotional Guide, available on Amazon for 99 cents e-book. Paperback $6.00 (Also available to send as an e-gift)
#avoidingdistraction #focus #relationshipwithJesus #disciple #JesusChrist