We are becoming more and more distracted these days. There are so many things vying for our attention that if we are not careful we can quickly become disengaged.
It’s hard to walk down the street without being bombarded with signs and billboards trying to sell you something. These people are trying to convince you that their product(s) will actually save your life, save you time, or save you money.
And how about the gossip magazines, and the last-minute ‘must have’ items that are strategically placed where you can see them while you wait in the checkout line at the grocery store.
These things are not only distracting but can add additional money to your grocery bill that you never planned to spend, causing you to go over your budget.
At church this past Sunday, there was a guy sitting on the pew next to me on his iPad. The moment this guy walked in – and he was almost an hour late – he pulled out his iPad and started flipping through it, and had it out for almost the entire service.
Apparently, whatever this guy was looking at on his iPad was more important than what was going on around him because he was so captivated by it that he could hardly look away, not even to listen to the preacher or to participate in the service.
Then there was the guy sitting in the row in front of me who kept ‘discretely’ pulling out his phone and scrolling through it. I’m pretty sure he wasn’t looking up Bible verses because he had his phone positioned down between his knees, trying to keep the people around him from seeing what he was doing.
There was also a little boy about four rows in front of me who kept falling out on the floor because he was bored with the service, I guess. Seeing all of this going on around me actually became a distraction for me!
I keep hearing about all of these television shows (Scandal, Empire, Keeping Up With the Kardashians, Dancing With the Stars, etc.) which seem to have people riveted week after week. They can hardly wait until next week’s episode because the last show ended with a cliffhanger – of course designed to keep you watching.
Now I don’t watch any of these shows as I don’t watch a lot of TV, but I can almost tell you what’s happening on them as I seem to be constantly bombarded with information about these shows, the characters, and the story plots. Everywhere you go people are talking about these shows, and the people who have become famous because of them.
Wouldn’t it be something if we all talked about Jesus as much as we talk about what’s going on in reality TV?! Just a thought..
Distractions. They’re everywhere.
There once was a time when we had to wait until we got home to check our messages, or our email. Now we can check them anywhere, including while we are behind the wheel of a 4000 pound car. Scary!
Distractions are designed to do just that – distract us. They keep us from engaging with the people around us.
They divide families, and disrupt the unity in our homes. They keep us from reading our Bible regularly, or listening attentively in church.
Distractions even keep us from being productive on our job. More importantly, they interfere with our relationship with God, because when we should be praying and fellowshipping with God, we can easily get distracted by something ‘urgent’ that needs to be tended to.
Distractions have become a way of life in our society, unfortunately. Sadly, we’ve become so accustomed to these things that they now seem to be the norm.
You can quickly become accustomed to seeing people sitting in the pew next to you in church on Sunday on their cellphones or tablets. Sure, they may actually use them to view a Bible app to pull up a Scripture or two, but I’m pretty sure that most will then quickly flip over to check their email, or hop on Facebook.
These distractions are having a negative impact on our lives. People are becoming walking zombies because of a lack of sleep, not enough one-one-one interactions with ‘real’ people, and an overload of garbage being thrown at them on TV and social media.
Social media is affecting our ability to function and interact as normal human beings. Sadly, this is all becoming normal to us. There is a generation today who don’t know any other way of ‘being’ in this world. Without their devices who would they be?
It’s time we pay attention to what’s going on around us. We need to start practicing turning off the TV, putting down and walking away from our electronic devices, and becoming more engaged with our friends and loved ones.
We also need to learn to interact more with God. He’s been neglected by us a lot lately. Our relationship with God should be the most important thing to us. Everything else is secondary. It’s because of Him that we live, move, and have our being!
If this article does nothing but make us more aware of the distractions vying for our time and attention then I am happy. Awareness and acknowledgement are the first steps in any recovery program.
Let’s get back to being loving, personable, and accessible human beings. We all have been placed on this earth to fulfill a purpose.
Jesus came to earth on a mission and He didn’t let anything distract Him from that mission. Let’s learn to be more like Jesus: focused, determined, and all about doing the Father’s business!