I am easily distracted.
- The less sleep I have the more distracted I am.
- The more coffee I have, the more distracted I am.
- The less coffee I have, the more distracted I am.
- The more food I eat for lunch, the more distracted I am.
- The less protein I have in the morning, the more distracted I am.
- The more I have to go to the bathroom, the more distracted I am.
- The more I have been sitting in a workshop, regardless of the quality, the more distracted I am.
None of those are character issues.
Not necessarily, anyway. And yet I often hear you and me talking about the distraction as a character flaw or as a failure or even as a sin. We do this as we talk about ourselves. We do this as we talk about others.
Instead of jumping so quickly to failure, what if we stopped.
And what if we learned to consider causes of being distracted and offered ourselves and others alternatives to judgment. For example, rather than assuming that the person is being disrespectful, consider whether they might need some almonds. Or a stretch break. Or a nap. Or a bathroom.
Or permission to be human. Because there are more roots of distraction.
- The closer someone is to the death of a loved one, the more distracted they are.
- The further into the chemo, the more distracted someone is.
- The closer to the end of school, the more distracted people are.
What loving one another includes is listening FOR each other’s needs as much as listening TO each other’s words. And loving ourselves means giving ourselves grace to stop and rest, a grace that God commanded.
If you are distracted, the answer isn’t always “Focus more”.