Today at Women’s Bible Fellowship we began a series with Pam Lau titled “Vital Unity with Christ in a Culture of Distraction.” Right off the bat she asked what takes away our attention from Christ: my answer – “managing consumption“. Not a lot of response to that – started making me think that I’m too heady of a thinker – which got me a bit distracted – so maybe it’s a bit more.
Today on Oprah she asked a family to give up eating out, watching TV, buying items, using cell phones, and wasting energy (turning off lights, not having the thermostat set to 75+). I know the topic of the show was about consumption, but I also wondered how much of it was about distraction: not paying attention, numbing oneself from reality. When the wife couldn’t fall asleep without watching TV, I wondered why: I know I’ve done that in the past, but usually when I didn’t want to hear the voices in my head or didn’t know how to cope with painful void of silence. I didn’t finish watching the show, seeing as how the act of watching it was distracting me from my life and engaging in a behavior she was asking the family to give up.
Dan Kimball wrote an excellent piece about the importance of theological thinking in today’s worship bodies. What I noticed was the miscommunication that can occur within our culture of distraction: either we don’t know what to communicate or aren’t in a posture to receive communication because we’re not fully focused on the issue at hand – we’re distracted. Being theologically grounded refines that focus. In my own denominational gatherings I’ve heard so much misinterpretation regarding consensus and the “priesthood of all believers”: basically the idea that any individual can stop a business item from proceeding forward, whether they’ve sat with the item and prayed over it for a considerable amount of time or not or if they have a relationship with the Lord or not or their life is bearing fruit or not. I wonder if we were more committed to creating space in our lives to focus on balancing the praxy with the doxy if things would sort themselves out instead of splitting off over and over and over. [And I think attending a Quaker seminary, even if it’s mostly nominal, is wearing off on Kimball: did ya notice how many questions he asked? Hello: queries. :D].
I meant to go to bed half an hour ago. But I got . . . distracted.