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Eliminating distractions - Jason Smith

I have a tendency to get distracted really easily.

Many times, I pick on my wife for having difficulty staying focused on a particular task, but the truth is, I'm just as bad as she is, if not worse.

In the last few weeks, I've taken notice on a deeper level, of distractions in my life and how they keep me from doing what really matters.

It all started when my car died earlier this month. Prior to that time, I would listen to the radio anytime I was in my car.

But, the radio in my wife's car, which I am now driving, doesn't work, so I spend a lot more time alone with my thoughts when I'm behind the wheel.

Another distraction, which has taken a hold on my life in recent months, is my Facebook account. When I get home from work each day, I usually spend inordinate amounts of time checking other people's status updates, making comments on their pages, or looking at any new pictures they've posted.

Before I know it, the evening has disappeared from me, and it's time to go to bed.

I've been thinking a lot about these distractions lately, particularly as it relates to my spiritual life.

Until recently, it was commonplace for me to listen to the radio in the car, instead of spending any time in prayer. Now, I find myself praying more as I drive, as a way to prepare myself for the day ahead.

Considering everything that is going on in my, and my wife's, lives right now -- a baby on the way, money issues, a new Sunday School class full of kids -- I sense the need for prayer more and more these days.

I've also found myself being increasingly conscious of how much time I spend on Facebook, or in front of the television. In response, I've been reading my Bible more, instead. I want to become better at truly studying it, and not just letting my eyes glaze over the pages as I've done in the past.

I am certainly not trying to make myself sound better than anyone else spiritually, by writing these things. I have a long way to go, toward being the person God has created me to be.

But, I know I'm not the only person who deals with these types of distractions and others, and I can't be the only one whose distractions stand in the way of spiritual growth.

I believe there are a lot of tasks God placed me on this earth to accomplish, for His glory. The bottom line, for me, is that as long as these distractions take a prominent role in my life, those tasks will be left undone -- at least by me.

I don't want my existence to be marked by a prayerless life, or a lackluster knowledge of God's Word, just so I can sing in the car or talk with Facebook friends.

If distractions in my life are keeping those aspects of my life from improving, something has to change.

Jason A. Smith covers crime and courts for the Henry Daily Herald. He can reached via e-mail at jsmith@henryherald.com.