Distraction = new socially acceptable addiction

By Dave Henning / August 8, 2020

“Let’s be honest: we prefer distraction.  The more distracted we are, the less present we are to our souls’ various hurts, needs, disappointments, boredom, and fears.  It’s short-term relief with long-term consequences. . . .  it’s the new socially acceptable addiction.”- John Eldredge

John Eldredge concludes Chapter 4 of Get Your Life Back as he takes a look at two types of people the psalmist contrasts in Psalm 1:1-4.  First, the psalmist describes one person as rooted, substantive, and life-giving.  However, the second person so lacks substance that the psalmist compares him/her to chaff which a breath of wind blows away.

Therefore, the one who meditates gives sustained attention to the revelation of God – lingering focus.  In contrast, Matthew B. Crawford wonders:

“As our mental lives become more fragmented what is at stake often seems to be nothing less than the question of whether one can maintain a coherent self.  I mean a self that is able to act according to settled purposes and ongoing projects, rather than flitting about.”

Consequently, John underscores, to find more of God, to grow strong in soul and spirit, requires setting aside space in your day for God.  With dedicated intent, put yourself in a place that fosters drawing upon the healing power of the life of God.

Yet, the ongoing deluge of data gives the soul a medicated feeling of connection and meaning. Thus, this artificial meaning and purpose (aka the new Tower of Babel) confuses the soul.  And prevents genuine soul care and life with God.

Furthermore, as this artificial meaning and purpose numbs the soul, the soul grows thinner and thinner through neglect.  In conclusion, John notes an age-old challenge to the Christian:

“Sincere followers of Jesus in every age have faced very difficult decisions — usually at that point of tension where their life with and for God ran against the prevailing cultural norm.  The new Tower of Babel is ours.  We have always been ‘strangers and aliens’ in the world, insofar as our values seem strange and bizarre to those around us.”

Today’s question: What provides the most distraction in your life?  Please share.

Tomorrow’s blog: “Such a simple virtue – kindness”

About the author

Dave Henning

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