We live in the Information Age. There are some positive things about that, but there are some negative things, too.
Linda Stone, a former senior executive with Apple and Microsoft, coined the phrase "continuous partial attention". She writes that we're "much more motivated by not wanting to miss anything … . We want to be part of this broader set of connections that are out there. And the unfortunate cost of that … is when you're on top of everything, it's hard to get to the bottom of anything."
So, when we try to stay plugged in to everything that's going on, we end up with a lack of sustained connection. That can undermine the depth of our attention spans and even the depth of our relationships.
It matters because getting to know and love people matters. A life spent loving God is a life spent loving the people that God loves. That's very hard to do when we're spinning around in a whirlpool of data and distraction. If we really want to connect and care for others, then we need to take the time to listen to them, to get to know them, and to be a godly presence in their lives.
Jesus says, "Do to others as you would like them to do to you." (Luke 6:31 NLT) If you want others to get to know you and take your life seriously, don't you think others want the same?
In the Information Age, continuous partial attention threatens this possibility. It can undermine the depth of our attention spans and even the depth of our relationships. Let's not let that happen.
A life spent loving God is a life spent loving the people that God loves.
Prayer: Lord, help us to resist the distractions of our age so that we can truly connect with and love our neighbours. In Jesus' name, we pray. Amen.
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Listen while you read: "Lo He Comes With Clouds Descending" (Lyrics)