written by Matt Boness
“Because what you give your attention to is the person you become. Put another way: the mind is the portal to the soul, and what you fill your mind with will shape the trajectory of your character. In the end, your life is no more than the sum of what you gave your attention to.”
– John Mark Comer from Ruthless Elimination of Hurry
I find myself on my cell phone more often these days. Has anyone else seen their smart phone screen time report go up more than 100% last week? Could it be, that we are filling our time at home with our devices?
I was out on a walk with my boys the other day and I was thinking about the screen time my 2.5 year old is getting right now. For the first year of his life, we didn’t give him any time in front of a screen. Our TV went off when he woke up from naps. We were adamant and strict about that. Now, he has his own Kindle Fire and we let him watch movies a few times per week. Unfortunately, this time of isolation has required some artificial babysitting so that my wife and I can get work done during the day. Having grown up without smart phones, smart TVs, tablets and portable laptops, I wonder what is changing developmentally between kids of that era and this one. I wonder what my parents did to occupy my brother and I when we were his age and how they survived without the technology we have now.
I’m finding that the walks or outside play that we get every day it isn’t raining, are needed for both of us. Me, to take a break from my computer, my work, being stuck inside and he, to get away from screens, reset and use a different part of his brain to imagine and adventure. My hope is that it is fruitful for both of us.
John Mark Comer’s quotation above should be scary for us. It is for me. I don’t want the sum of my life to be what I find on twitter or facebook. We all make jokes about how those things are terrible and a waste of time, but the developers of both are smart enough to know what we need to keep coming back. And we keep coming back.
What if we filled our lives with the things that truly would help our mind and spirit grow? Things that grow our kindness, our humility, our peace and patience and love for each other. Comer concludes his thought by saying, “That bodes well for those apprentices of Jesus who give the bulk of their attention to him and to all that is good, beautiful, and true in his world.”
May we give of our time to things that are enlightening, in Jesus. By reading our bibles, praying earnestly, giving to others, encouraging the downcast and other similar things. May our screen time reports go down next week in light of our work to become more like Jesus in our waking hours.
“For those who live according to the flesh set their minds on the things of the flesh, but those who live according to the Spirit set their minds on the things of the Spirit. For to set the mind on the flesh is death, but to set the mind on the Spirit is life and peace.” Romans 8:5-6
Lord, give us life. Amen.