It feels like there are so many things clamoring for our attention. Things like demands from work, the family schedule, end of the year preparations and seasonal shopping. On top of all that the media outlets are cascading with headlines about the election, fraud, spies, Corona, masks, infringement of rights, political unrest, persecution in Nigeria. On and on and on. All of it is the most important and all of it has to be dealt with now. It is no wonder why anxiety is the most common mental disorder in the United States. It affects 40 million Americans. That’s 18% of the population. Even before the onset of Covid-19 and all the fear and regulations that came with it, these statistics were on the rise. For youth, they are not struggling with the unholy three—drugs, sex, and rock-n-roll. These will never be completely gone for an age group growing into independence. Their biggest struggles now are anxiety, depression and other mental health issues. So, what do we do with the distractions that lead us into distress and distrust?
We need to regain focus and clarity about what is really happening. We need to lift our heads and see beyond the cloud of competing information and the sources that demand our attention to the true source. Go to the Scriptures and find the verses that help you keep perspective. One such verse is found in the book of Colossians. “Therefore if you have been raised up with Christ, keep seeking the things above, where Christ is, seated at the right hand of God. Set your mind on the things above, not on the things that are on earth. For you have died and your life is hidden with Christ in God. When Christ, who is our life, is revealed, then you also will be revealed with Him in glory” (Col. 3:1-4).
This passage speaks to those who have been “raised up”—a reference to baptism (Rom. 6:3-5). “Keep seeking”—don’t stop looking up and maintain our focus. “Set your mind on the things above”—a reminder that our thinking can get highjacked by the cares of this life. Set the dial, preprogram your mind to be focused on heavenly things. “For you have died”—I am not my own. My life is now in Christ and He is my life (Gal. 2:20). “When Christ is revealed”—not if, then we will be with Him in glory. Something to look forward to. This life with its cares and concerns is not the end. It’s not heaven. This life isn’t the reward. The rest of the chapter goes on to speak about an ordered life clothed in Christ.
Look to the Scriptures and find the passages that help you maintain focus. When we lose focus, it is easy for us to succumb to the distractions and wander off the path that is laid out before us. With prayer and the help of our brothers and sisters we need to keep ourselves from the distractions.