Distractions and Dentifrice

One of my favorite books is Fahrenheit 451 by Ray Bradbury. Written in the ’50s, it takes place sometime in the future, when books and literature of all kinds are shunned from society for what’s considered the good of humanity. Instead of putting out fires, firemen start them. They find houses containing books and burn them to the ground.

The main character is a fireman named Guy Montag who, at a certain point in the story, secretly takes a book from one of the houses to satisfy the curiosity torturing his mind. It happens to be the Holy Bible. He decides to take it out and read it on a subway car. He turns to a random page and his eyes fall upon Matthew 6:28, part of Jesus’ Sermon on the Mount, which reads,

And why take ye thought for raiment? Consider the lilies of the field, how they grow; they toil not, neither do they spin.

He tries to read the verse, determined to place it within the bounds of his fluttering thoughts, but it’s impossible. A commercial is playing over the subway’s speakers. “Denham’s Dentifrice!” repeats over and over. The hollow-minded passengers around him tap their feet to the commercial’s tune; their mouths subtely twitch to the words. “Denham’s Dentifrice! Denham’s Dentifrice! Dentifrice! Dentifrice!”

Desperately, Montag attempts to shut out the obnoxious advertisement. But the voice and the music is too loud and distracting. In frustration, Montag stands up. “Shut up!” he yells to the speakers. The passengers, shocked, stare at him blankly. The commercial plays on, mocking Montag’s cry.

The subway comes to a halt, and Montag slips out quickly, the only word he can recall from the verse… “lilies…”

Distractions are all around us. Some of them are obvious and blaring, like a commercial for “Denham’s Dentifrice!”. Others are more subtle, slowly pulling our thoughts and hearts away from the things we should truly focus on. Satan will use every tactic available to keep our minds distracted and away from the things of God.

Just like Peter lost sight of the Savior and began to sink, we allow the world around us to take our eyes away from Jesus Christ, away from our Father in Heaven, away from the whisperings of the Holy Ghost, and away from our friends and family.

1 John 2:15-17

Love not the world, neither the things that are in the world. If any man love the world, the love of the Father is not in him.

For all that is in the world, the lust of the flesh, and the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life, is not of the Father, but is of the world.

And the world passeth away, and the lust thereof: but he that doeth the will of God abideth for ever.

Let us keep an eye single to the glory of God!

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