Hebrews 12:1 - Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, 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.
We try to stay caught up on the clutter that grows in our homes, but what about the clutter in our minds?
So here’s one for you. What’s something that can clog up your mind every day without stepping outside your door?
Mail, with all of its ads, used to be a primary distraction. Now though, we don’t just have mail piling up on our countertops, we have an increase in things that clog up our minds.
First, the old fashioned distraction called TV. It’s easy to slip into becoming so fascinated by the drama of our favorite TV show that it becomes part of your life. You talk about it to your family. You pick up the phone and dial a friend who also watches the show and trade ideas of what will happen in the next episode.
And as far as doing anything else when you’re show is on. Probably not. That show seems to call your name and begs you to sit down on your couch and turn on the TV.
Now there’s nothing wrong with enjoying a relaxing evening watching TV. It can even be a chance to talk to your teenage son or daughter, because in a way, you’re at the same level. Plus, it gives you something to talk about without trying to turn the conversation into a heated argument.
Second, your TV show is off and now it’s time to fill your mind with another kind of clutter – your computer and cell phone. Both of these items can connect you with people all around the world. You can find information on a topic that perks your interest and even find information on an upcoming procedure you’re having.
Once again, on the surface connecting online isn’t a bad thing. But when it takes all of your attention, and you come to the point of ignoring your family, then that’s bad news. After all, your phone makes a noise and you quickly grab it off your side table to see what someone else posted on Facebook. And should your internet go down or you lose cell service, it can feel like the end of the world.
Third, let’s take a look at your cell phone again. Here’s another way it can clog up your mind – phone calls. Plain. Ordinary. Phone calls. You know you’re in trouble when after you hang up you realized you just talked to your friend for over forty-five minutes.
And don’t forget texting. It used to be that we’d wait until we spoke to someone on the phone or saw them in person before finishing a conversation we’d started. But now as fast as a flash you can pick up where you left off.
It used to be that you could only access the internet on your computer, but now with Smart Phones, you can watch a YouTube video anytime you want whether your computer is on or not.
Fourth, both on your TV and on the internet we get delivered to our homes news almost instantly after something has happened in the world. We can watch the news all day now on our phones, not just the TV. The news tends to be negative and may make us angry or worried when something happens. We wonder how our lives will be changed and all of it is delivered right into our living rooms.
Fifth, there’s also an old fashioned almost outdated way to also get the news and along with its clutter – newspapers and magazines. These not only deliver world news, but the latest gossip on our favorite celebrities.
And then we step out the door and discover most of the clutter I mentioned earlier is following you on your way to work and even at work when you think no one is looking.
But here’s a problem – many times what we forget is that what we post on Facebook and Twitter can be read by anyone depending on your privacy settings. But even without those settings, whatever you post on the internet becomes fare game. It’s like what you wrote is floating on the “clouds”, because it is.
I’m sure there are many other ways that can clutter your mind. But one thing you can count on, if your mind is overly cluttered it can be a real distraction and you’ll be unable to bring all of your attention to the task at hand.
Like the Bible verse above says there are things that entangle us and keep us from finishing the race of life marked out for us. Let’s put down that phone and pick up our Bibles. In there we can find peace and ways to push out the clutter in our minds.
Karen Dalske is a freelance writer, public speaker, is active in her church and writes her blogs out of her own experiences of pain, illness and loss.