Lifestyles of Distraction

Lifestyles of Distraction

by David Trementozzi on May 18, 2020
“For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.” (Matthew 6:21)

I am prone to distraction. Such is frequently observed by my family every time I walk past the television but inevitably get sucked into the storyline. How about you? Distraction is embedded into the very fabric of our culture. Google, video games, cable television, bill boards, commercials, and myriad other sights and sounds daily call for our time and attention. Our economy even depends on it. Every day, businesses and institutions vie for our interest in buying their goods and services . . . each one trying to convince us we need what they have. Sadly, we’ve become so used to the noise, we rarely even recognize what we’ve lost.

Our modern technologies and conveniences generally make life easier and more enjoyable—superstores, mega malls, computers, smartphones, tablets, and the internet. Unfortunately, we often become so dependent on these things, we barely notice how uncomfortable we become in their absence, how awkward with silence, and how quickly bored without them. I’m not saying any of these things are necessarily bad, in fact, most are helpful and important for success in modern twenty-first-century life. Yet, there is wisdom in the advice to not let the good become the enemy of the best.

Our culture of technology and access is a blessing, but we must not allow it to command our hearts and time. An assessment of how and where we spend our time, money, and attention will quickly reveal our treasure. If we spend most our minutes distracted by the cultural novelties of our day, we have little time and heart left for prayer and worship—without which a dynamic faith cannot grow. And so, the good becomes the enemy of the best.

I used to crave times of solitude and silence because there I found contentment and peace in prayer. Waiting on God in quiet times and private places was a regular part of my life. In those times, I experienced how precious my relationship with Christ was; it was the treasure that kept my undivided attention. Yet, as I’ve grown older, though I still yearn for sacred space and holy stillness in God’s presence, I sometimes struggle to stay focused in prayer and hungry for its regular practice amidst the busyness of my daily routine. How about you?

Where do we go from here? We take baby steps. We do whatever we can, even if it doesn’t seem like very much. If we can only pray for one minute free of distraction, we do it. Then we do it again tomorrow and the next day. Soon we are not only praying longer, but we’re actually enjoying it. If we continue this discipline, eventually we won’t be able to imagine our lives any other way. In this day of overwhelming cultural distractions, may God help us guard our treasure by cultivating undistracted hearts of love and service to Christ!

* Adapted and used with permission from
David Trementozzi