We live in an age of disruption.
Everyone wants your attention; family, work, church, your iPad, a book, marketers, television, and your local service group. Some of these distractions are noble and do require attention. Some of these can wait.
Technology and life’s demands want to suck us dry. A friend remarked to me the other day that he wish our world went dark with technology like the television show, Revolution. While that is drastic, I empathize with his sentiment as does my wife when she sees me looking down at my phone when I am at home.
My job is focused on leveraging social media in business and everyday there is something new to pursue; the hot new app, the new social media network, or a digital conference where you fear missing out of the ‘new thing’ in technology. There is always a new technology to learn or a place where people want to share information. It is a never-ending cycle that has only been accelerated in today’s culture.
When I am bombarded by too many meetings, demands, and other things, I am reminded of Indiana Jones. In a scene from Raiders of the Lost Ark (1981), Indiana is trying to rescue Marion and the Ark. He is being chased by Nazi agents and Cairo henchmen. After he briefly escapes, he is then confronted by a master swordsman who is prepared to end his quest. Indy has to act fast. Watch and see.
Admit it, you laughed.
While I would like to take care of our distractions the Indiana Jones way, there is better wisdom I am learning. I struggle with disruption like any average person. C.S. Lewis said that “God whispers in our pleasures” and I feel most alive and joyful when I am focused on doing one single thing. God didn’t make me a multi-tasker thankfully and when distracted he causes me ask this question,
What what is most important and what do I do about it?
There are three pieces of wisdom that I have learned over time. Whenever I am overwhelmed with distraction, God seems to point me back to this wisdom.
1. Wisdom of my Mother:
“Slow down: One thing at a time.”
No one likes listening to their mother but even at 34, I humbly acknowledge thought that she is right.
2. Wisdom of Scripture:
Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect. – Romans 12:2
Commit your work to the Lord, and your plans will be established. – Proverbs 16:3
So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen, since what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal. 2 Corinthians 5:18
3. Wisdom of Prayer:
Jesus taught us out to pray and in prayer he helps us focus on him.
Our Father, which art in heaven,
Hallowed be thy Name.
Thy Kingdom come.
Thy will be done in earth,
As it is in heaven.
Give us this day our daily bread.
And forgive us our trespasses,
As we forgive them that trespass against us.
And lead us not into temptation,
But deliver us from evil.
For thine is the kingdom,
The power, and the glory,
For ever and ever.
So let’s fix our eyes on him, pray, and take it one thing at a time.