Attention

by Kristina Fertala

We all have those days… the ones when our minds are easily distracted and we can’t seem to focus on the tasks at hand. Attention- a resource of limit capacity with a flexible supply. What I mean by this is that we have a limit to the amount of attention we posses, however, that attention may be allocated (or distributed) in a variety of ways. And we know this better than we may think.

For example driving in the car… when driving by ourselves we can direct the majority of our attention to the road, however add in a friend, music, cell phones, and (if you live in southern California) traffic and our attention is all over the place.

As silly as this example is, it speaks volumes to the ability of our attention and the many demands we are faced with on a daily basis. Our attention is pulled between work, school, friendship, finances, community… and the list can go on. Add in emotions… emotions of happiness or joy, disappointment or hurt… and that in itself is a whole heck of a lot competing for our limited amount of attention.

For me, amidst graduate studies, work demands and just life in general, I don’t have the capacity to allocate more attention to negative distractions or self-talk. However, somehow they find their way into my mind, taking up more room then allowed or desired.

So often I get into these little mental battles of attention, knowing and acknowledging that the unwanted thoughts are not welcome… but finding them to linger and distract. They distract me from what needs my attention, distract me from living fully and ultimately distract me from living in freedom.

Hebrews 12:2 describes these unwanted thoughts so well, with a solution to the exact issue of where our attention should be, “let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles, and let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us.”

Where does your attention to the Lord fit in all your demands? Does He sit in the middle, or on the side? For as Hebrews 12 continues on to say,“ let us fix our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of our faith…” That is the solution, the answer to the issues of our attentional demands.  We are all given a path and a job to complete within the kingdom of God; whether it be as a student, an employer, a friend, or a leader, ultimately all paths are leading us and others towards the Lord.

The world will so easily want to get in our way and the enemy will want to fill our minds with thoughts to distract our attention from our purpose. Therefore it is imperative that we use the words of Hebrews 12 as a guide of encouragement, allowing it to lead our minds in the right direction and keep our eyes fixed on the truth of the Lord.

 

Photo Cred: Anna Dziubinska

 

about-the-authorWith a drive for achievement in the scientific world, Kristina is completing the finishing touches on her Masters in Neuromotor control. However, at heart she is a pearl, continuously seeking to be refined by her Father and all the while living a grand life. Keeping with the knowledge that with a little glitter, a white dress, and the Julie Andrews life soundtrack it is well with her soul.

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