I bring this up simply as a reminder of how easily we as humans can get distracted by all sorts of things. This is especially prevalent in our current generation, tied to our smartphones and our social media. We can be doing one thing and get a buzz from our phones, and we have become conditioned to respond immediately to that buzz. I don't want to completely sound like I'm complaining; it is a rather incredible thing that we can have a conversation with a person from a large distance. My only concern is that we have become so focused on our life outside of our current location and not focused enough on the task at hand.
This can really be seen, at least for me, by the way my friends and I go about doing homework. We will have a document open writing a paper, Facebook open in our Web browser, and music pumping through our headphones via iTunes. This is all happening as we sit around a table in the library trying not to be distracted by what they may be doing. Our culture has bought into the idea that we work better when we multitask. We say that we are getting more done because we're working on multiple things at once. The problem with this mentality is that we tend to do all those things at a mediocre level, instead of working to the best of our ability on one thing at a time.
God has a lot to say in His Word about where our focus should be as Christ-followers. Paul writes to the Corinthian church, "Do you not know that in a race all the runners run, but only one receives the prize? So run that you may obtain it. Every athlete exercises self-control in all things. They do it to receive a perishable wreath, but we an imperishable" (I Corinthians 9:24-25). James writes in the fourth chapter of his epistle, "Do you not know that friendship with the world is enmity with God? Therefor whoever wishes to be a friend of the world makes himself an enemy of God." The writer of Hebrews also chimes in on this subject when he says, "Therefore, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us also lay aside every weight, and sin which clings so closely, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, looking to Jesus, the founder and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is seated at the right hand of the throne of God. Consider him who endured from sinners such hostility against himself, so that you may not grow weary or fainthearted" (Hebrews 12:1-3).
These passages make it clear that our focus as children of God should not be on the world, but on the things of God. There is no multitasking in the Christian life; you cannot serve God and satisfy your selfish desires at the same time. James said it pretty clearly: if you associate yourself with the world, then you make yourself an enemy of God. But God does give us the strength and the grace to accomplish this, if we put our full trust and dependence upon Him. As the old chorus goes, "Turn your eyes upon Jesus. Look full in His wonderful face, and the things of earth will grow strangely dim in the light of His glory and grace."
This does not make us completely impervious to distractions, of course. We do have our sinful flesh still at war within us. But through Christ, we have the power to over come that distraction, keeping our eyes fixed upon Jesus. As the prophet Isaiah has written, "You [God] keep him in perfect peace whose mind is stayed on you, because he trusts in you" (Isaiah 26:3).
So, where is your focus? Is your sight so fixed that nothing can get in your way? Each day I pray that the Lord would reveal to me anew His grace, and that I would go through each day focused on His glory as the operative effect in all that I do. I pray that this would be your desire as well.