Inspired by “Colors” by 3 Shades of Blue
Consider your attention span and how quickly your mind wanders. Your brain distracts you with daydreams, stress, or music. Add Twitter, smartphones, email, and countless other activities to the picture, and it’s a miracle if we can accomplish anything in a day. Take this devotional for example. I got so distracted today writing this, it took me an hour just to write the first paragraph.
According to a compelling infographic created by Assisted Living Today called “How Social Media Is Ruining Our Minds,” during the past 10 years, “the average attention span has dropped from 12 minutes to a staggeringly short 5 minutes.” Social media’s effect on our attention span impacts not only our ability to focus, but also our multitasking skills and social interactions. Distractions enter our faith too. They may take the form of a habitual sin that keeps us from consistently spending time with God or simply peripheral issues we fixate on that shift our focus from the gospel.
When a horse is pulling a carriage or running in a race, blinders may be covering the sides of its eyes. Blinders keep the horse focused on its path. Without blinders, the horse will want to study its surroundings. If a horse isn’t focused, getting it to follow a path poses a host of challenges. The blinders help avoid distractions. As Christians, just like a horse, we need something to function as a “blinder” in our lives. God has given us plenty of options, such as a mentor, someone older and more experienced to help us work through sidebar issues of Christianity while keeping us focused on what really matters: a relationship with God and how He’s using us in the world.
Distractions often draw us away from accomplishing our goal and purpose in life. We are and were created to praise God. We were created to please God and not ourselves and our friends. Distractions often attach themselves to something good and positive. Therefore, we must ask ourselves what are the consequences of this distraction and am I accomplishing my goal and purpose in life with this distraction. Distractions may cause us to lose focus on our dreams in life. Whether we want to make good grades, change our attitude, be more kind and friendly towards others, respect our parents and teachers more or simply liking who we are, if we allow ourselves to be distracted we may not do any of the things we really want do. When we fail to succeed we often become agitated and even frustrated. These emotions may lead to a desire to give up or quit on our dreams in life.
It is very important that we identify our distractions. What keeps interrupting us, slows us down, or simply stopping us from doing our best? Is it relationships, friends, worry, your past mistakes or failures, unforgiveness, social media, insert your distraction here: _________. It’s not easy to say no. So, to tackle distractions, it’s good to come up with a game plan. If your cell phone is a distraction turn it off. Set a time to respond to your messages and make new calls or texts. If games and TV are a distraction, set a time limit and stick to it. Don’t get into the habit of saying, just 5 more minutes. If relationships and friendships a distraction, be sure that you are pleasing God and not others. Choose your company wisely. Whatever the distraction, have a way to counter it so it doesn’t consume your life.
With that said, does this mean we have to always be at church or in prayer or in the Word twenty-four/seven? No not at all. It’s perfectly acceptable to enjoy a book, a movie, a sports game, or whatever else you enjoy doing in your free time. What it does mean is that we must be cautious of how much time we give to those things. If the devil can’t deceive us with evil things, he will do his best to deceive (and distract) us with good things.
Distractions are not always easy to identify. Many times, the distractions in our lives get in the way of our time with God. When God is left at the bottom of our cup, we don’t always have the energy to focus on our relationship with Him. Prioritizing our daily activities is a must if we want God to be the center of our lives. So, be challenged today to make God a priority in your life. Before you pick up your distraction tool of choice, ask yourself if your time would be better spent in quiet time with God.
3 Shades of Blue is a pop rock band out of the Philadelphia area. Colors is from their newest 3 song EP called Colors which can be found on iTunes or on their website. For more information about 3 Shades of Blue you can go to their website at: http://www.3shadesofblue.org/
Want to read other devotionals written by Tim? Go to: https://www.facebook.com/notes/kindred-concerts-for-christ/kindreds-devotional-series/463516160364310