By Ella Corey
The Millennial generation is filled with distractions, from constant updates on twitter to daily world crises broadcasted on CNN. Endless sources are perpetually yearning for our attention. Giving these sources attention is not the problem. The problem is when they begin to consume you. As Christians one thing is supposed to be our focus, our number one: Christ. “Apart from me,” Jesus tells us, “you can do nothing,” (John 15:5).
These distractions were created to consume us. Tim Cook, Apple’s C.E.O. said that the purpose of Siri is to “make your current relationship obsolete.” (Borowitz, Andy). I’m sure God would not be pleased if we make our relationship with Him obsolete. So what can we do? What is it that’s really distracting our generation and pulling from building a strong relationship with Christ? I’ve thought about four traits our generation has that point us in the opposite direction of Jesus.
- Our Obsession with Short-Term Goals.
The Internet is speedy, and we like it that way. Netflix now plays instantly, as does Youtube and Hulu. And, of course, any waiting causes a fuss. We can even fast-forward through commercials! This leads to our dependence on things happening immediately. We would rather spend than save, satisfying our short-term goals rather than seeing what is in the long run. On the other hand, God’s plan lasts a lifetime so, we need to learn perseverance and we need to be patient. In order to be truly fulfilled by Him we need to settle down and be in it for the long haul. He doesn’t always work instantly.
2. The Selfie
That front camera on your iPhone has only one purpose, to take a picture of yourself. Rather than promoting God and His glory, we’re bragging on the Internet about how good we’ve made ourselves look that day. We’re constantly refreshing our “likes” as how many people approve our appearance. The distraction here is own narcissism portrayed in the excessive amount of selfies we take. We should care more about what God thinks of our heart, than what our followers think of our face.
3. Short Attention Spans
When was the last time you sat down and meditated, or even had a conversation for that matter, without pausing to check your phone? It’s always in our hand, pocket, or purse, and we know we can’t go anywhere without it. Lookout created this interesting infographic to show us where and how often people check their phones. Because of constant updates and instant messages, if our phone vibrates, beeps, or tweets, we need to check in immediately (even though chances are it isn’t too urgent). This leads to a lack of ability to hold a solid conversation, read a page of the Bible, or even say a prayer without being distracted. Sometimes it’s better to let the people on the other side of your iPhone wait, and spend some time meditating on God’s word without interruption.
4. Being Unaware of The World Around You
As I’m sure you’ve noticed from Instagram, we live in a beautiful creation. In fact, it’s even more beautiful when you see it in real life (not as a photo with a filter on a screen). Plenty of people have posted photos of tonight’s sunset, so why look at it for yourself? Part of enjoying God’s creation is experiencing it first hand. I recently ventured to Europe with a couple close friends. To preserve our memories, we wanted to come back with lots of pictures. We would alternate on who would be the photographer of the day. Ironically, I found that the days I didn’t take pictures, I remembered way more about what we saw. To truly take in and enjoy the beauty that God created around you, it’s sometimes necessary to put away the distracting camera and really observe with your eyes the world that we live in.
All in all, God wants us to live our lives to the fullest. The only way to do so is through Him. So, let’s put away the distractions and take some time to make Him our life and your purpose, because nothing else will satisfy us like Jesus.