#AdventBookClub: Day 17: Paying Full Attention

#AdventBookClub: Day 17: Paying Full Attention

Today, I start with Brian Draper’s Advent material – interesting in the light of whether ‘multi-tasking’ is a common problem these days, and quoting the leadership expert Tony Schwartz:

‘A growing body of research suggests that we’re most productive when we move between periods of high-focus and intermittent rest. Instead, we live in a grey zone, constantly juggling activities but rarely engaging in any of them – or fully disengaging from any of them. The consequence is that we settle for a pale version of the possible.’

I can certainly say that the days where I’ve felt really focused, and said am going to get ‘x’ done by lunchtime or whatever … and I’ve used my todoist to manage what I need to do that day (and not over-filled it, which is still a poor habit!) … I get home with a real sense of satisfaction, and maybe even a feeling that I can stop for a bit (unusual!).

Purchased from Stockfresh
Purchased from Stockfresh

Ron Glusenkamp’s challenge for today – to spend quality time with a loved one … giving the best of ourselves, rather than the rest of ourselves… an important call in a time when there are mobile phones trying to drag our attention away all the time!! A little bit from my book (p170):

“Multitasking” is often described as something new to “millenials”, but Gina Maranto from the University of Miami said information multitasking is not a new phenomenon: “My father, a corporate editor, used to watch television, read magazines, and listen to the radio at the same time long before computers, cell phones, or iPads.”20

Professor Livingstone defines two different types of multitasking:

  •  Constructive: have Instant Messenger, music or search open, which contributes to something they are working on
  •  Distractive: watching TV on demand, videos, or playing games, which pulls them away from study.21

I think this evening I may be in rather ‘distractive’ mode, having watched Winter Wipeout, and this video-Christmas-card!

Back to Maggi’s thoughts for today … calling for us to understand that the Bible is most certainly not written as an instruction manual, and that if we want to understand why it sometimes appears un-uniform, it’s as though we put together a range of different texts from different eras and cultures … better to be treated as a collection of books, written within the limitations of human language and human experience.

We need to have our feet on the ground, even when our hearts are searching the heavens.

Once we recognise the limitations of our human language, we can listen through the ‘cracked vessels’ of humanity for God to shine through. Sometimes we may need to listen really hard I guess…. and pay full attention!

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