Oh, I have heard this little voice that has become not so little. I have put it off. Proven the point. As I type this, the ding of my notifications on my cell phone is trying to lure me to look away. Stop typing. I know if I look, I will be sucked into the distractions that have filled my time lately. Ok. OK. CONSUMED my time lately.
I have my excuses, er...reasons. Yeah, reasons! It has been over a year since I have written on my blog. I have done many, many (some would say TOO many) posts on Facebook. Some thoughts. Many memes. Some silly. Some timely. Some really important to me so I want to share....at ALL hours of day, usually night. I convince myself it is part of my healing. My therapy. My ME time. I like to encourage people so that, up to a point, is all true.
However (knew that was coming, right?), all of that has become a distraction from dealing with life. Feelings. Grief. UGH. Even typing this I am having to take a deep breath because I know that anxiety feeling as my chest tightens. I will suffice it to say that 2020 and 2021 have been years that will be referred back to with the words: virus, pandemic, lock down, "new normal", vaccine, division, and so many more. That is just the world. Each of us have had our own issues to deal with too.
This is where the distraction comes in. This may not be the way everyone deals with stress, but it is seeming to become more of an issue as technology weasels into our everyday lives. Wonderful advancements that should make our lives easier. It does! IF you can control it and not let it control you.
One of my main distractions is my cell phone. Phones used to just be in our homes attached to a wall. Eventually cordless and able to be lost at the end of a single call as setting the phone down and not back on the charger resulted in a useless, lost phone. Never fear. The manufacturers predicted this and gave us a beep to find the phone, if it wasn't dead because it was not on the charger. Now if one of us misplaces our cell phone, we ask someone to call it. Mine is usually under papers within 2 feet from me. I have actually found myself looking FOR my phone, while I was ON my phone.
Portable. A device that used to just be for calls. Made and received. An occasional short text as on a flip phone it was awesome, but time consuming, to hit the 1 button 3 times to get to "c". Then I had a slide out miniature keyboard which made texting faster and easier and less time consuming. It didn't matter if someone didn't answer, they could read the text later. Respond if they chose to. I go back in the house to get my phone if I forget it. Don't leave home without it used to just be a line in a commercial. My phone gets internet access if in the right spot. Wifi. Needing a password. The internet!
Ahhhh. The internet AND apps AND a newer, faster phone. Herein lies much of my distraction issue. I don't even need to be near a full size computer. At home. As long as I have wifi, I have a mini computer that fits in my purse or my pocket. Oh and the things the phone can do! Watch YouTube, Tik Tok, a movie! Have a question? Search. Find the answer. Or many answers. To questions I didn't even knew I had. Predictive text shows questions others have had and answered. How helpful and useful and distracting. Oops an hour went by. "News" with catchy headlines designed to make us click and click some more. Oops another hour.
Games! I used to have to go to a video game arcade and have quarters. Then I could play at home on early Nintendo. Duck hunt and that darn dog that would laugh when I missed. Now there are apps of card games I used to play with real people. Now they are avatars on a screen and a chat box. I convince myself I'm keeping my brain active as I match candies, shapes and colors. Hoping the one I need to complete the puzzle will fall just in the right place to blow up and finish that level. How many levels? Hundreds. Maybe more. Connect to Facebook, see what games your friends are playing and send a challenge. This is not even getting into the apps that "reward" you for playing. Points for gift cards. It would be more cost effective to just buy the gift card, but hey! I'm playing already anyway.
ALL of these. Distractions are everywhere. Every. Day. I get ideas I might jot down, but I don't write as often as I did. Not for lack of ideas. Lack of motivation. The attraction of gift cards and being distracted so I don't have to feel when feeling the feels might lessen the hurt and let me move on. Let you move on.
Are you doing similar? Has the everyday noise and all the options taken up space in your head? Kept you from reading the Bible? Kept you from praying? Are you feeling ok about that? Distractions are everywhere. I have noticed the small voice getting smaller.
I have Biblegateway.com on my phone. On a good day, I do the reading plan on there BEFORE I get further distracted. All of the things are not necessarily bad when only doing them for a short time and not rabbit trailing from one topic right into the next or playing level after level of games. Working on putting the need to-do ahead of the want to-do. Feeling the feelings is still a work in progress.
“‘Go to this people and say,
“You will be ever hearing but never understanding;
you will be ever seeing but never perceiving.”
27 For this people’s heart has become calloused;
they hardly hear with their ears,
and they have closed their eyes.
Otherwise they might see with their eyes,
hear with their ears,
understand with their hearts
and turn, and I would heal them
Acts 28:26-27 NIV
39 She had a sister called Mary, who sat at the Lord’s feet listening to what he said. 40 But Martha was distracted by all the preparations that had to be made. She came to him and asked, “Lord, don’t you care that my sister has left me to do the work by myself? Tell her to help me!”
41 “Martha, Martha,” the Lord answered, “you are worried and upset about many things,
Luke 10:39-41 NIV
Lord, You know our hearts and desires. Thank you that you do not get distracted. May we be more aware of what is keeping us from reading your word and praying. Help keep our distractions to a minimum. Please help us to draw closer to you and work through anything that is distracting us from coming to you. May we use technology and advancements for good and not just time wasters keeping us from getting done what we need to do. Amen.