Questions to Consider
•What distracts you from being present with other people around you?
•What distracts you from living out God’s agenda for your life?
•What helps you to focus and be the most productive?
•How does Jesus help us focus on what is most important in any given moment?
Plan of Action
•At your next lunch, have everyone set their phone facing down at the middle of the table. The first person who picks up their phone pays for the meal.
•Challenge yourself that the first thing you watch, read, or listen to in the morning when you wake up is God’s Word. (not email or Facebook)
•Do a digital detox. Turn off everything with a screen for 24 hours. Tomorrow would be a great day to do it, since there is no “40 Things Devotion” on Sunday.
We live in an ever connected world. With smart phones at the tip of our fingers, we can instantly communicate with people on the other side of the world. It is an amazing time to live in. I love the possibilities and the opportunities. With the rise of social media we not only connect with our current circle of friends and family, but we are also able to connect with circles from the past. We can build new communities in the virtual world to find like-minded people we cannot find in our physical world. Services like Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, and Instagram all have tremendous power. They have a way of connecting us with others to shine the light of Jesus.
While all of these wonderful things open up incredible possibilities, there are also many dangers that lurk. One of the biggest dangers is distraction. They keep us from living in the moment and they keep us from enjoying the people sitting right across the room from us. We’ve all seen that picture where the family is texting one another from across the table. They are not looking at each other. They are looking at the tablet or the phone in front of them. They are distracted in the moment.
Today we are giving up distraction and we are going to live in the moment. Distraction doesn’t just come from modern technology. We are distracted by our work. We are distracted by hobbies. We are distracted by entertainment. We are distracted by busyness.
The opposite of distraction is focus. It is setting our hearts and our minds on Jesus. It’s not just putting him first. It’s about him being a part of everything. It is about making our choices to be God’s choices. It is about letting him determine how we use our time and focus our attention. He is the one setting our agenda.
I saw a statistic that 80% of smartphone users will check their phone within the first 15 minutes of waking up. Many of those are checking their phones before they even get out of bed. What are they checking? Social media? Email? The news of the day?
Think about that for a moment. My personal challenge is the first thing I open up every day is God’s word. I might open up the Bible on my phone, but I want to make sure the first thing I am looking at is God’s agenda. (Check out “Good Shepherd’s Daily Bible Readings”). When I open up my email, my mind is quickly set to the tasks those emails generate rather than the tasks God would put before me. Who do I want to set my agenda? For me personally, I know that if God is going to set the agenda, I need to hear from him before I hear from anyone else.
There is a myth called multitasking. We talk about doing it, but it is something impossible to do. We are very good at switching back and forth from different tasks very quickly, but we are never truly doing two things at once. So the challenge is to be present where God has planted you. In any given moment, know what is the one most important thing. Be present in that one thing. Be present here and now.