Choose between Nike and Avia. A Fossil or a Coach. Something from Ann Taylor or Liz Claiborne. Every one of us is loyal to a specific brand because of a particular symbol or a trademark that beckons us to buy.
We all have our own special ways of getting sidetracked. A classic sidetrack that not only distracts us but also takes us out of the present moment and the work at hand. An annoying distraction that keeps us from paying attention to the individuals who matter most to us. A relentless impediment to the existence we were destined to have.
Distractions abound in the twenty-first century. There are mobile phones in our pockets. Our desks are piled high with unfinished work. Countless appointments are etched on our diaries.
In today’s technologically advanced world, we have constant access to information and a wealth of entertainment options. Nonetheless, it rarely provides the ability to concentrate. We are constantly switching gears from one activity to another, much like the little screens in our pockets.
When we step back and look at the big picture, we realize that distractions are a leading cause of our failure to fulfil our life’s true potential. They cause us to neglect our own personal relationships. We are constantly distracted from the one thing we should be doing with all our might: loving God.
We all have to deal with distractions, but every one of us may have our own preferred method. Often, the temptation of this sidetrack is too great to resist, and your commitment to completing the task at hand or pursuing God’s will for your life will be weakened as a result.
Which of these diversions causes you the greatest trouble? Moreover, what steps can be taken to fix the problem? You’ll find both high-level concepts and actionable advice to help you progress in your walk with God and get things done.
A small bit of happiness can be found in shiny new goods if that’s your preferred form of distraction. You have a hard time saying no to deals. Leisure time is often spent shopping. You also have a hard time letting go of possessions, which leads to a buildup of unnecessary paperwork, extra clothing, and unnecessary furnishings that distract you from the things that truly matter.
Comprehensive view: It’s important to keep in mind what Christ said: “Do not lay up for yourself riches on earth, where moth and rust destroy and where thieves break in and steal, but lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust destroys and where thieves do not break in and steal.” Because “your heart will be where your treasure is” (Matthew 6:19-20). Having the newest and greatest electronics, the most fashionable clothes, and the most desirable handbag may be a powerful emotional distraction. Call it a shopping fast this week. Only buy what you need. Try not to spend too much time at shops. Read the Bible and grow closer to Christ while you wait.
Miniature: Clear your desk before starting to type the report that’s due today. You should take fifteen minutes to straighten up your desk, including filing documents, putting pens away, and discarding notes that are more than a month old. If your desk looks like the set of a disaster movie, take that time to shovel everything into a box and schedule an hour next week to deal with the flood. You won’t be able to focus on the task at hand unless you get rid of all the clutter first.
If Busyness Is Your Preferred Means of Ignoring Reality:
You take pride in having a packed schedule because it shows you’re living life to the fullest. You decide to enrol in a Bible study and a Zoomba class. Your offspring are actively a part of numerous academic and extracurricular groups, including baseball, soccer, and math teams. Since you’ve agreed to so many things, though, you rarely get to do anything enjoyable. Your busy schedule has caused you to ignore your relationships with those closest to you.
Comprehensive view: Think carefully about what you want to accomplish. What activities provide you with the most satisfaction and fulfilment? Which ones are now just routines and background noise in your life? Pray for guidance from above as you make your final decision. To approve what is excellent, “it is my wish that your love may abound more and more,” with understanding and complete discernment (Philippians 1:9-10).
Streaming on a small screen: Take a week off from everything you don’t have to do. Do not force the youngsters to take up ballet or karate if they cannot handle missing those classes. Avoid the book club and the Pilates class. Gather a huge bowl of popcorn, some board games, and your favourite home videos and hole up in the family room. Stop letting books collect dust on your nightstand and start reading them! Get on the phone and have a lengthy conversation with a pal.
If internal chatter is your speciality, then you are the type of person who constantly lets Worry, Anxiety, and Self-doubt run the show. You are sabotaging your own productivity by letting your mind wander. They make it so you can’t appreciate the people in your life.
In a nutshell, reading God’s Word is the most effective strategy to combat pessimistic thoughts. That’s why God urges us to “not be conformed to this world, but be converted by the renewal of your mind,” so that we can “discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect” through trial and error (Romans 12:2). It may be counter-intuitive to spend time reading the Bible when there are so many other things that need to be done, but storing God’s Word in our hearts and thoughts is the best approach to silence Anxiety and Self-doubt and to live a life of meaning and fulfilment.
Though it’s difficult to completely silence our worries, we can train ourselves to think more constructively. Rather than telling yourself, “I’ll never get this report done on time,” try telling yourself, “I will work on this project for one hour and see what progress I’ve made.” Say to yourself, “God has committed these children to me,” instead of “I’ll never be a good enough mom.” He will give me the wisdom and courage I lack.
You can’t be present with your loved ones if you’re too busy checking Facebook and Twitter. You have to finish the article that’s due tomorrow, but the phone keeps ringing and there are too many emails to read. At the coffee shop, it’s hard to pay attention to what your companion is saying because your attention keeps getting drawn to a tiny screen.
The big picture: maybe every other Sunday is designated as a “tech-free day.” Remember the Sabbath, and observe it as holy, God commanded the Israelites in Exodus (Exodus 20:8). To consecrate anything means to set it apart for divine purposes. You and your family can better focus on the Creator of Time by putting aside electronic distractions like email, social media, and video games on Sundays. Spending more time with loved ones is facilitated by a one-day hiatus from electronics.
To get some serious work done on the computer, minimize the window. Turn off the ability to get alerts on your phone. When you’re out with a pal, put your phone away. Call for a screen-free meal as a family. Make friends with the individuals around you.
Maybe you’ll stick with buying Nikes forever. Perhaps you still can’t say no to that shiny new Coach bag. However, I have faith that you will not give in to whichever source of distraction most appeals to you.
Determine what it is that is keeping you from fulfilling your God-given duties and potential. This week, commit to putting aside your distractions and focusing on Christ. With His outstretched hand, He promises to lead you to happiness.