In the Pixar movie Up, Doug the dog, has a problem. A squirrel crosses his path, and his attention flies to it.

We are all like Doug today, easily distracted.

  • Distracted driving causes 64% of car accidents
  • The average student can focus on a given task for only 2 minutes. The typical Internet user’s online screen focus lasts for an average of 40 seconds.
  • The average 25 to 34-year-old checks his or her phone 50 times per day.
  • The average 25 to 34-year-old spends 2.5 hours per day on social media, while the average 8 to 18-year-old child spends 9 hours on social media per day.
  • Excessive device usage is leading to decreases in marital and relational satisfaction.
  • Loneliness is an epidemic, with 54% of people saying they always or sometimes feel that no one knows them well.
  • On average, we spend 650 hours per year reading and responding to emails. We touch, swipe, and tap our screens an average of 2617 times per day.

Those are the obvious distractions. They have their own dangers.

But spiritual distraction is more subtle and for more dangerous.

Jesus told a story of different kinds of soils in Matthew 13. In it, he described a soil woven with thorns. It doesn’t repel the seed. It only keeps it from growing. Listen to our distractions.

The seed falling among the thorns refers to someone who hears the word, but the worries of this life and the deceitfulness of wealth choke the word, making it unfruitful.” (Matthew 13:22)

When our focus is on the latest and loudest, the most immediate needs, we block out eternity. The things we own then owns us. We can lose our future by chasing our present.

Look around and pay attention to what has your attention. If it distracts you from serving God wholeheartedly, it may choke the life from you.

-Robert G. Taylor-