We look to anything and everything that will keep us from confronting the issue at hand. Proverbs 4:25 (The Message)
One thing I ask from the Lord; this only do I seek: that I may dwell in the house of the Lord all the days of my life, to gaze on the beauty of the Lord and to seek him in his temple. Psalm 27:4
Hello....my name is Tony and I'm a distraction addict. It's been less than an hour since I last hopped online to check my email and scroll through social media. Now, it's your turn. As a fellow distraction addict, what is your vice of choice? What do you turn to over and over again to divert your attention, escape being alone or avoid dealing with issues taking place inside your heart?
No one likes to consider themselves an addict. The term carries with it a negative connotation and a great deal of baggage. Being labeled that way probably made you cringe because that's how I responded to this sharp cutting truth. I get it- some of you think that using a word like "addict" is a complete overreach and quite a stretch.
But, the reality is we run from silence and stillness. We do everything in our power to avoid being alone with ourselves. Dealing with our worries, our insecurities and our struggles is uncomfortable, so we turn to other things to entertain, distance, and appease ourselves. What we run to reveals what we love.
Distraction is the drug we use to medicate away the problems we face. It might be the phone, television, what's in the fridge, video games, hobbies, social media, our work, or a host of other amusements. We look to anything and everything that will keep us from confronting the issues at hand.
These interrupters divide our attention and detour our thoughts. For a moment, they provide instant gratification, but like any drug, they wear off and we're back to reality. Once we get a taste of the distracted life, we're hooked. We want (and need) more to get the same effect.
Like any addiction, distraction can be life-dominating. The first step in breaking the cycle and experiencing freedom is being open about the struggle. Denying it or attempting to rationalize it away only enables the cycle to continue and the problem to grow. Addictions aren't to be managed, they are meant to be overcome.
Control your distracted mind rather than allowing it to control you.
- What do you turn to in order to distract yourself? What makes this thing so appealing to you?
- In what situations are you not being fully present? What would it look like for you to show up in these places?
God, I forget that many things are vying for my mind's attention and the affection of my heart. I run to other things to avoid coming face-to-face with the reality of my heart, my struggles, and my insecurities. Help me to realize how pointless this pursuit is and that life is found by transforming my mind through keeping it centered on You. In Your name, Jesus. Amen.