Friday, June 12, 2015

Increasing your focus - there's an app for that

Now available on all smart phone platforms: iPhone, Android, Windows, Blackberry. No install necessary. The app eliminates distractions, allowing you to focus on the important task in hand...It's called the off/flight mode button...or else use the settings to drastically control the type of notifications that come through.

Seriously, distraction is a major problem when we have constant interruptions from our devices. It's not simply the cause of many accidents - on a more everyday level constant alerts train our mind to expect distraction and therefore to have weaker capacity to focus.

Spiritually this is a real issue. Distracted spiritual living is every bit as dangerous as distracted driving. We can switch off completely on sabbath, at personal devotions, family worship and hopefully even at family meal times. Yet if we are trained to expect constantly something to seek our attention - our ability to focus, read and think deeply, meditate, pray will all be diminished. Memorisation and storing in the long term memory are also impacted. It is likely that we become less self-reflective.

The great danger is that we're losing a focus upon our eternal home not just our immediate environment. We need to create more times when we disconnect from such distractions in order to focus more on what is important.

Perhaps the verse we need to memorise most is 1 Corinthians 7:35 "that ye may attend upon the Lord without distraction". Richard Steele wrote a whole book "A Remedy for Wandering Thoughts in the Worship of God" using this verse as a launchpad. This book may be more needed now than in any age. Another verse would be: "O God, my heart is fixed" (Psalm 108:1 see also Psalm 57:7). "Consider Him" (Hebrews 12:3).