"Hiding behind the task..."
I had a friend use this phrase in a meeting the other day. It struck me as very insightful...
He was referring to the way we often use a task to divert us from the goal of the task. The goal is difficult, and we don't want to be seen as failing to accomplish it, the goal requires more effort, so we don't shoot for the goal. We hide behind the task.
Bureaucratic red tape is usually an example of this. 'Getting the form filled out correctly' ends up being a way that the 'public servant' can cover his own butt without ever actually serving the public.
This is the fundamental problem with religion; we use the prayers, songs, events, acts of abstinence, and acts of service as ways of distracting ourselves from the more important reality. The act of worshipping God can be the thing we use to prevent God from getting to close to our hearts. Conversation about God's will can be a way of diverting us from doing God's will. Obedience to God's previously revealed will can become a diversion from seeking God's presently revealed will...
...and nothing bother's Jesus more than this. It is for this reason that He turned over tables, insulted the church leaders of His day, and ultimately got Himself killed.