Saturday, March 26, 2016

Satan and the Distracted Mind

Have you noticed how distracted we all are these days? Seems we need to be entertained or occupied every minute of the day or we feel something is missing. Parents run themselves ragged with activities for their children, from soccer practice to chorus to debate club and on and on it goes. And then you have sports venues. When I was growing up you could conduct a conversation with the person you went to the game with because whenever there was down time during the game, there was silence enough for you to hear each other. At most, there may have been an organ that played soft, soothing music. No longer. Now every second is filled with noise. The only silence you have is during the actual action when the loudspeaker is finally given a rest and you actually have to pay attention to the action!

This issue came to my mind the other day when I was watching something on the internet (isn’t that an interesting thing, considering the subject of the article!) I thought of the fact that children are constantly having to be kept occupied. That’s not unusual, it’s always been that way. Children need constant activity or they will find something to entertain themselves with. And when that happens, they don’t exercise discernment; whatever they find to do they will do whether good or not. But in times past children were kept occupied with activities that would provide them physical and mental stimuli. When I was growing up, the activities we engaged in, where physically demanding and stimulating as well as mentally challenging. Playing games in the great outdoors, helps to physically strengthen the child and, doing so in a group, also promotes social and problem solving skills.
With the advent of the ubiquitous electronic devices, entertainment now is primarily designed around the tablet, the phone or the television. Although it is undeniable that these media provide many useful lessons, they do not provide the child the social skills and values that only a parent and social interaction can provide. Think about it: what values and social skills is YouTube teaching your child? Do you even know what he or she is watching and whether that program will be constructive rather than destructive? Let’s face it, electronic media is filled with ungodly programming that not only does not promote wholesome values, but in many instances it actively tries to teach your child the values which it embraces, including the god of our time: tolerance.

Now, there’s nothing wrong with tolerance if it is applied appropriately. The problem is that what our society calls tolerance is what God calls “calling evil good and good evil” (Isaiah 5:20). We are told to tolerate anything and everything, whether good or not. In our postmodern society, we can no longer demand that the truth be recognized and followed since there is no such thing as truth. “What’s true for you may not be true for me” is the mantra of our generation. Since there is no such thing as objective, absolute truth, you are looked upon as a bigot whenever you dare to tell anyone that what they believe is wrong. I’m sure you’ve seen the bumper sticker with the various “religious” symbols and the word “co-exist” written on it. Nothing could be more descriptive of our society’s mores than that bumper sticker. The important thing is to get along, you see. Don’t bother me with the truth, I have co-existing to do.
And therein lies the greatest problem with the incessant distraction to which we are constantly subjected. The Devil understands that a mind that is cluttered with so much activity will have difficulty sorting the good from the bad. It has been said that an idle mind is the Devi’s workshop. No doubt that is true. But as with so many other things, going to the other extreme will, rather than solve the problem, compound it from a different direction. Jesus and the disciples took time to pray and meditate. Although they certainly had a lot of activity in their lives and the activity they carried out was the most important anyone could ever engage in, they understood that being connected to God is more than the sum of our activities.
Take time to dwell in silence. Connect to God in ways that perhaps you never have because of the noise that attends your life. You’ll find that the rewards and the renewed relationship you’ll have with your God will make it so much more worth it!


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