Short Attention Spans

Whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things.

— Philippians 4:8

According to a study from Microsoft Corp., people today generally lose concentration after eight seconds. Even the notorious goldfish can focus for nine seconds. What has happened to us?

Job. Spouse. Kids. Appointments. Screens everywhere. All are competing for our attention. All of them are too important to ignore. We barely have time to exercise or eat healthy, let alone sit and consider things Paul instructed us to. As our stress mounts, our focus becomes more blurred.

Yet something within us whispers, “Slow down. Meditate.” But with such short attention spans, dwelling on any one thought for more than a millisecond is a lost skill.

Or is it? Can we regain our focus?

Jesus was no stranger to stress. Everywhere He turned, needs demanded his attention. People were sick, hungry, outcast and forgotten. All were demands far too important to ignore. And yet He remained focused on his mission. How did He do it?

He regularly made the decision to withdraw from the fray and took time to reconnect to His Father.

Most of us don’t have time to find a garden or walk around the desert for 40 days. What if the secret to regaining our focus could be found in the simple decision to withdraw from the noise for a few moments each day? To allow our minds the opportunity to dwell on the things that matter? We have nothing to lose and everything to gain by focusing on the things of God.

We can do it. After all, we’re created in the image of the One who did this.


Today’s One Thing

Start small. Go to a quiet place. Set the timer on your phone for one minute. Close your eyes. Think of one of God’s blessings. A place. A person. Something that makes you smile. Every time you feel your attention begin to roam, bring it back to that focal point, and praise God for His goodness.

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