I know that I am alone in this (she writes with a sarcastic pen), but there are times when I can’t keep focused. I had to sit down to write these thoughts and I couldn’t keep a thought line going!
I was actually having a conversation similar to this with someone yesterday. She was bemoaning the fact that she has a difficult time staying focused on a single thing — like a podcast or (gasp!) a sermon — unless she is taking notes. She’s developed all sorts of “tricks” to stay on task. I think that I needed some of these today!
But then… then I started thinking about these “distractions” — or what the yogic world will call “monkey brain.” All those things that pull us away from the task or topic at hand. Our societal training is that distractions are bad. That they are meant, well… to distract us!
But… what if these distractions are actually the work of the Spirit trying to get our attention onto something more? something better? something new?
The wind blows where it chooses, and you hear the sound of it, but you do not know where it comes from or where it goes. So it is with everyone who is born of the Spirit.
— John 3:8
I know, right? I blew my own mind with that one!
What if my “monkey brain” is really the Holy Spirit jumping up and down saying, “You-who! Over here! Look!! Hello?!? Look!!”
And there we sit saying, “Shush! I can’t be distracted!! Quiet…” Or, maybe even worse: we sit and harangue ourselves because we can’t stay focused even for a minute!
I am well aware that sometimes a distraction is just a distraction. But not all the time. Because if God is really interested in us, then God is often trying to get our attention. And sometimes that means prying us away from other things or using other things to spark a thought in a whole new direction. I guess what I am trying to say is pretty simple: getting distracted might not always be a bad thing.