I’ve been writing some about focus every now and then. (Maybe I have a hard time focusing on that.) Part of the reason I believe our minds can rarely settle and find peace is because we are in a rush constantly and we are overloaded with information. As I ponder throughout the day, there is constantly a barrage of information going on. As I ponder it now, I realize that if I took the time to write down all the topics currently swimming through my mind, I’d never get this blog done.
Not only do we have that information, we don’t have the time to process it. I am sure I am not alone in saying that I rarely find time to pray and it’s crazy because I know I have time. Prayer is hard because focus is hard. I sit down to pray and within a few minutes, my mind is already going everywhere else and I’m trying to catch hold. It’s terrible when you think about it that you go to focus on God and your mind is quickly distracted from Him.
Why should this surprise us? We go about our day and we are never told to do things slowly. Oh there is a time for speed and I realize that. There is a time to move slowly though. Even if we are on a break at work, we feel that our time is rushed and we have to get as much in as possible. I find it amazing that even when I go to the movies, I still look at my watch as if I need to measure the time.
When watching a TV show, we can look and see how much time is left so we can know “Okay. This plot has to be dealt with by this time.” Many of us can also then approach our lives the same way thinking that whatever crisis we are dealing with must be dealt with immediately. As I wrote in an earlier article though, our stories keep going.
When the medieval philosophers are read, contemplation is always held in high regards. Today, we don’t really do that. We don’t know how to sit and contemplate. We can say we’re going to think about God and then go “Well what do I think about?” Could it be God has become so abstract from our day to day lives that we no longer know how to ponder about him?
I tend to be OCD also which makes the focus hard at times. I can get a song stuck in my head and that song will not go away. Then before too long, it’s replaced with another one. Still, I take comfort at the words of Santayana that for the true lover of something, what they love is always at the back of their mind. I believe that is the way we should see things. An active love of God does not mean always thinking about him, but it means one can easily switch to thinking about him.
What we need is to slow down. This is why vacations and recreation are so important. He who spends all his time in studying will burn himself out. You need time to process that information and you need times as well to avoid that deep thinking. There is a time for work and there is a time for play. The good Christian life will be a balance of both.
As you go about your day, try to go slowly sometimes. Enjoy what you can in life. Maybe drive without the radio on and under the speed limit. Instead of driving to the mailbox, if it’s possible, why not take a walk? Why not take a break in the middle of the day and go sit on the porch and read? Oh. Parents. Here’s a strange idea. Why not take some time out today and put away that work at home and actually spend some time with your kids? Yeah. It’s a lost art, but it will do a world of good.