Both my brothers are avid hunters, and although I am 110% for sportsmanship, I’ve never been hunting (unless you count shopping for good deals). As a result, I enjoy hearing my brother’s stories. Recently, one of them was telling me about a time he was turkey hunting, and there were so many turkeys he couldn’t focus on one to take the shot. Turkeys are ADHD creatures by nature, and they can’t stand still. Dozens of them together are like the blurry results of an overdue vision appointment.
Related Post: Our Focus Determines Our Balance
I couldn’t help but think that we Christians can have the same problem in our spiritual lives. Too many turkeys, too much calling for our attention, keep us from being effective in our calling. How can we get anything done when we’re not focused on purpose-driven work?
Calling Out the Turkeys in Our Lives
First, I think we have to identify what our turkeys are. Each of us has unique challenges based on our work and responsibility, but my guess is that we also have a few in common.
- Social media: Access to our social networks is literally a hand’s reach away. The notifications and lit-up screens snatch our attention from where it needs to be.
- Comparison: Nothing wrecks our focus so instantly as the comparison game. When we start comparing ourselves to someone else, we derail our progress and lose a productive mindset.
- Over-commitment: When we say “yes” to more things than our schedules can handle, we become ineffective and exhausted.
- What other turkey-time-stealers would you add to this list?
Re-Focusing Our Sights on What Matters
Calling out the turkeys that steal our time and focus is step one. Step two is much harder, because it requires acting on the information. We have to renew our minds daily, or even several times a day, if we’re going to fix our aim where it needs to be.
Scripture gives us a guide for evaluating the claims on our attention. Let’s put those turkeys to this test:
“Finally, brethren, whatever things are true, whatever things are noble, whatever things are just, whatever things are pure, whatever things are lovely, whatever things are of good report, if there is any virtue and if there is anything praiseworthy—meditate on these things.” (Philippians 4:8 NKJV)
True, Noble, Just, Pure, Lovely, Praiseworthy. That list is a pretty good litmus test to see if our focus is purpose-driven or simply distracted.