It is usually hard to find something that secular scientists and biblical theologians can agree on. But one thing that seems to unite the two groups is the fact focus has become an increasingly difficult thing for people to do. Why is it so hard to focus?
In his Ted X Talk, author Cal New Port. spoke about why people should not believe that Social media is a necessary part of life and that smartphones can be very dangerous. In the talk, he explains the different harms that social media brings to us. One of the paramount ones is that makes it harder to focus. As stated earlier, it’s not common to see secular people- scientists, academics-and biblical scholars-theologians, pastors, clergy- agreeing with one another. But Cal noted on his blog, that when he wrote his book, Digital minimalism, that gave more details and data on his Ted X Talk, many religious leaders wrote to him, thanking him and expressing their agreement on the power of technology to harm our ability to focus.
Today we live in a very distracted world. Cal and the leaders that read his book aren’t the only ones to agree with this. Other authors ad thinkers have been speaking on the matter as well, understanding the negatives of the power of technology. Focus is something very important. Some would say that it’s the most important ability to have, yet, it’s become the most difficult one to have.
Focus doesn’t just affect the academic world; it plays a huge part in our faith. Jesus, the pioneer, and perfecter of our faith lived an insanely focused life. Insanely is used merely because, in today’s world, his level of focus is a foreign thing.
Matthew 6:6 says But when you pray, go into your room, close the door and pray to your Father, who is unseen. Then your Father, who sees what is done in secret, will reward you. And in Luke 6:12, it says 12 One of those days Jesus went out to a mountainside to pray and spent the night praying to God. And Mark 1:35 says 35 very early in the morning, while it was still dark, Jesus got up, left the house and went off to a solitary place, where he prayed.
In these 3 verses, we see his focus. It makes sense why he focused like this. He loved God, and his task of preaching the Gospel, restoring mankind to God was an amazingly challenging thing to do.
In his book on focus, Deep work, Mr. Newport mentions that “The key to developing a deep work habit is to move beyond good intentions and add routines and rituals to your working life designed to minimize the amount of your limited willpower necessary to transition into and maintain a state of unbroken concentration”
This is a very wise thing. We may realize that we have an issue with focus, but this belief is meaningless without action to change it as faith without deeds is dead.
Alongside praying that God helps recover your ability to focus, a few suggestions are, putting your phone away while you work, pray, read the bible. Practice distancing yourself from it as much as possible. Set aside time when you will use it and time when you will be solely focused on God.
Don’t just have good intentions about this. Jeremiah said it best (or better yet, God through Jeremiah)
You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart.