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Make a choice. Don’t waste time.

December 3rd, 2011 Categories: pondering... 9 comments

I’ve been thinking about the matter of time recently. And distractions. Because I read this article over on CopyBlogger which talked a little about how there are so many things on the internet that can distract us from the main point (this is all in the context of content marketing). And how we as internet users are becoming so used to browsing and skimming websites for the information we want, that our attention span is decreasing.

Oh no, is that me?

Something about that thought rang true. I realise I actually am very distracted online. I multitask immensely.

For example, I open up my blog with every intention of making a post. And at the same time I open a tab and log into my email, and open another tab to visit LetTheWord.com. Well then whatever is in my email tends to get taken care of first. During which time I may start chatting to one or two people using Gchat. Then I also connect my digital camera to download photos. And open Google Reader to check or read something. Then I get a few more emails. And then I notice the LetTheWord tab, and so I open up Twitter in order to tweet my team members to remind them to post. Then a few more emails. And before I know it… it really is time to go to bed and I still haven’t written a blog post.

And that’s one of my fairly typical “quick email check and maybe I’ll even write a blog post” nights.

Well that got me thinking even more. I really think that this distractedness, this lessened attention span, has spilled over into my real life. Fair enough I do work on a computer most of the day – and I can have very similar experiences throughout the day (so to-do lists do help me).

But what concerns me more is that I think that it may even be affecting my church-life. I have been finding it so much harder to concentrate in conferences recently. I look forward to them with so much anticipation, but when I am actually there, it seems like it passes me by and I don’t know where it went.

Am I the only one who is like this? Is it only an internet-generation thing, or something everyone is prone to? Do I just need to concentrate more?

But tonight’s YP meeting had (almost) all my full attention!

We had such a great time this evening! :) And that of course was going to be the subject of this post before I realised I’d been online for a while with this tab open but nothing written!

But moving swiftly on, I really enjoyed the exercise and release of our mingled spirit in our singing, declaring and praying. I felt that somewhere, saints must really have been praying for us tonight. It was wonderful!

Our singing led spontaneously into sharing and reviewing what we covered in the meeting two weeks ago (last week we had an outing to Cambridge :)), and then we read a short portion and fellowshipped some more.

Make a choice

I was really helped by the sharing from all the saints. Some spoke about their experience of being in school and with their friends, and the choice they have to make between going along with everything they are doing (or the “can’t be bothered” attitude), or going against the tide.

We also have to make a choice to give our morning time to the Lord, to read His Word, to go to the meetings. And yes, even to concentrate our whole being on the Lord in the meetings!

It is the Lord who works it out in us, but He does need our cooperation, our openness, and our willingness.

Don’t waste time

We also shared about not wasting time, as it came up in one of the songs we sung:

God needs some young people to keep themselves from defilement.
Some who will stand against the current of the age.
Who will declare:

“Lord, from today –
We’re going to flee youthful lusts
And pursue righteousness
With the view
To the building of the church.

Not wasting time
Pressing on toward the goal
Occupied with the prize
O Lord, we’ve been wrecked – we’ll build Your church!”

How easy it is for our time to be wasted. Just read what I wrote at the top of this page!

And maybe some people may think it is a waste of time to spend Friday night at the students meeting, and Saturday night at the young people’s meeting. But no. When we see the real worth of the Lord, we realise it is not a waste. Then spending our time with the Lord, with the saints, in the meetings, does become so sweet to us. And it becomes for the building up of the church.

Our meeting tonight wasn’t a youth group gathering or a social activity for young people… it was a little bit more of the church being built up!

And seeing as I did upload pictures after all…

Here are some from our trip to Cambridge last weekend!

  1. December 4th, 2011 at 08:01 | #1

    Yep. That is definitely me. My attention span is ridiculously short. But technology also affects us in other ways. We tend to become bored easier (that might be the same thing, but I think there is some difference). An article once described it as a paradox: There is so much to catch our interest and we get so tained used to being constantly entertained, but we also then can’t go even 5 minutes without getting bored.

    • semyl
      December 4th, 2011 at 22:52 | #2

      That’s interesting, although I think suffer more from the lack of attention thing than the boredom thing. Although there can be occasions that I don’t have anything to do online (anything “pressing” that is) and I do feel bored. But in “real life” if I don’t have anything to occupy me, I don’t think I get bored.

      But multi-tasking… I used to think it was awesome to be able to do it, but now I’m not so sure. Or maybe I’m just not as good at it as I used to be? ;)

  2. mavis
    December 4th, 2011 at 12:40 | #3

    it’s so easy to get distracted. one way I reduce overload from the internet is that I do nott open so many tabs. don’t invite chats until you finish blogging. I turn off msn so I don’t see who has logged in, and feel tempted to start a conversation with them. that helps me to get what I needed to do with singleness of mind. olj, help us to be wise with our time, to be single with You.

    • semyl
      December 4th, 2011 at 22:55 | #4

      Yes that is good advice, thank you. The thing is, I do place more importance on checking and answering certain emails than on blogging, so I tend to do that first. Also because I think that taking care of my emails can be done much faster than blogging, so I should do the one that is shortest first. But then other things creep in…

      I do read advice that says we should spend the first part of our time working on what is most important, even if it is not the thing that is the fastest. So I guess it depends a lot on my value system!

  3. semyl
    December 4th, 2011 at 22:59 | #5

    I forgot something quite important that I wanted to add to this post. All that Satan, God’s enemy has, is time! And his time is short (Revelation 12:12). So this is why we shouldn’t waste time. Actually, the more we spend our time with the Lord and with the saints, building up the church, the more the enemy is defeated. Hallelujah!

  4. Kelli
    February 7th, 2012 at 16:14 | #6


    I found your web page whilst looking for Psalms 2 study outline. I was doing the same as you but I was typing the outline with the verses under each point, including the intro/extra speaking plus any foot notes that I felt were good, which was many… but it became to laborious so I thought I would try to find the outline and then all I had to do was enter the verses. Somehow typing them gets them into me more. Do you know how to find the outline on the web anywhere ?

    • semyl
      February 7th, 2012 at 16:39 | #7

      Hi Kelli,

      Unfortunately, I don’t know if it is possible to find the outline online, at least I’ve not found them before. It is possible to get those for the other conferences at http://www.lsmwebcast.com, but I don’t believe the ones for the semi-annual trainings are there.

  1. December 5th, 2011 at 00:34 | #1
  2. December 5th, 2011 at 00:34 | #2