Summer 2024

Daily Devotional: Thursday, June 20 - Distraction

“Set your mind on things above, not on earthly things.” — Colossians 3:2

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Golf is a notoriously difficult sport to get good at, requiring the highest levels of concentration. And even then, shots often go awry. If you’ve ever attended a professional golf tournament, one of the course rules is that you must minimize the noise you make while golfers are lining up for their next shot. These courses are trying to maintain an atmosphere where the sport can be played at a high level. Constant distraction would render golf almost unplayable, and thus unwatchable.

Distraction is also an impediment to a flourishing spiritual life with God. We live in a society that is perhaps more distracted than any other generation before us. There’s always somewhere to go, something to do. Even if our bodies aren’t on the move, our minds are. Text, email and social media notifications ensure they’re always jumping from one thing to the next and back again.

Living the totality of life like this hurts our ability to commune with God every hour of every day. We wake up, and we may pray or read the Bible, but our minds are on the tasks ahead. At the end of that day, we come home, collapse on the couch, and turn on the popular new TV show. Later that night we try to catch up on emails, but we get distracted and fall into the latest list of viral social media videos. Then we go to sleep and repeat the pattern the following day.

Simply, we allow distraction to prevent us from creating an atmosphere in our lives in which we can recognize and respond to how the Holy Spirit is working.

God’s intention in our lives is not to have His voice drowned out by a seemingly never-ending string of “dings” on our phones or soundbites from media personalities. So let’s seek to recover some intentional quiet time in our lives in order to hear from God. Away from the distractions, away from the busyness of life, just like golfers, we need to be able to set our minds on the truly worthwhile things. Then, we can flourish.

— Kevin Mercer

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