Former procrastinators. I’m easily enticed away from my duties by entertainment. Not by Hollywood. Entertainment for me is anything that appeals and diverts me into a relaxed state that helps me ignore what I ought to do. It might be a chore I prefer, tv, book, magazine, or google search. Does FB or Pinterest do that for you? I’m realizing that such entertainment is part of the spirit of this age.
Quickly I add that all these can be used to great benefit. But they require control. To “indulge” is to allow yourself to enjoy a pleasure. (Merriam Webster) Okay. But the root of “indulge” means “to give free reign to.” I’ve galloped through nearly a carton of ice cream or whole book while something worthwhile awaited my attention. Over indulgence. We need to gather the reigns and steer ourselves wisely.
We should gratefully enjoy the pleasures God gives us. These include rest and play. The doldrums I spoke of earlier are not the same. Rest and play are refreshing; the doldrums are draining. Rest and play are intentional; the doldrums are sneaky and invasive. Rest and play equip us for better work; the doldrums divert us from work.
While in the doldrums seeking ease and entertainment, I noticed how scattered my thoughts were. That, too, led me to consider the spirit of the age. Am I paying attention to what I’m paying attention to?
Gather the Reigns
Over indulgence and scattered thoughts make it easy to procrastinate. I delay, forget, start, stop, walk away. When I’m easily diverted, I’m not effective for the Kingdom whether teaching my kids or serving my boss. I’m all over. Like the tail-wagging retriever, I’m – Squirrel! Off on something else.
The spirit of the age lures us off our race for the eternal prize onto the course of this world for a temporary prize. We trade gold for a plastic trinket.
Procrastination plays right into this. If we value ease, we drift into dullness of heart and mind. Then it’s easy to choose temporary reward. Unfocused thoughts scatter in many directions. I’ve noticed these evidences of a scattered mind. They also contribute to a scattered mind.
Sitting in a meeting reading an article on another topic
Having lunch with one friend while texting another
Choosing a church because sermons are short
Trying to think of a computer search I can do instead of work
Turning to the computer or phone if I have free minutes
Turning to those to avoid doing what needs doing
Talking on the phone with a friend while still on the computer
Pulling out my phone when I could engage with others or wait quietly thinking
Looking at the phone instead of the child or friend who’s talking
Spending numerous days without routine
To stay in the race and win the prize, we pay attention. We reign in our thoughts so we stay on track.
When do you choose diversion when focus is needed?