Can You Spare 8 Seconds?

fishbowl_goldfishHow focused is your focus? This might seem like a strange question, but it’s one that calls attention to a survey that considers a person’s attention span. Studies have found that the attention span of individuals has decreased from 12 seconds in 2000 to a mere 8 seconds in 2013.

Are you still focused? It has probably take you 8 to 10 seconds to read what I’ve written so far, so I want to make sure I have your attention before I hit you with this next finding: The attention span of a goldfish is 9 seconds. That’s right, a goldfish has a longer attention span than most people.

There seems to be a correlation between the proliferation of external stimuli and the deterioration of an individual’s attention span. Cell phones, iPads, iPhones, big screen TVs and video games play a large in role in small spans of attention.

To make sure the Ephesians were giving appropriate consideration to his admonition, Paul encouraged them to: “Pay careful attention to how you walk—not as unwise people but as wise— making the most of the time, because the days are evil. So don’t be foolish, but understand what the Lord’s will is (5:15-17).”

Can you stay focused for another 8 seconds and “pay careful attention” to 8 characteristics of a worthy walk (Romans 12:9-16)?
• Love without hypocrisy
• Abhor evil
• Cling to good
• Be kind
• Be fervent in spirit
• Rejoice in hope
• Be steadfast in prayer
• Rejoice with those who rejoice, and weep with those who weep.

If you live your life within the confines of a fishbowl, 9 seconds might be a healthy attention span. I suggest, however, that each of the 8 items above is worthy of more than just a goldfish’s concentration of 8 seconds. How about 10 seconds? Can you focus on each of them for 10 seconds a piece and consider their role in living the life defined as a “worthy walk?”

Give it a try—you’re better than a goldfish!

Spare Dimes

Broken Piggybank Shows Financial DepositWhat is it that gets your attention? Is it a shiny new sports car or a rugged new four wheel drive pickup? Is it a new piece of furniture to replace a well-worn family heirloom?

What is it that turns your attention from stylized consumerism and an inward focus to one that is beyond rank me-ism and centered on the needs of others? When was the last time you gave a needy person a spare dime or found some time you could give to a worthy cause?

By worthy cause, I don’t mean something that will help you achieve a higher position on the social rung of some ladder. Jesus wasn’t nearly as worried about climbing ladders and pampering the high and mighty as He was helping the down and lowly.

The power brokers of the day were the Pharisees and the Sadducees, and they caught the attention of Jesus more than once, and He chided them for their abuse of privilege.

The under-privileged also caught the attention of Jesus. He loved the outcasts of society—even the untouchable lepers felt His compassionate touch. The blind and lame who had been falsely accused of suffering due to sin, were helped and healed by the touch of the Master’s hand.

Jesus never turned a deaf ear to those who pleaded for help or a blind eye to the less fortunate who were within the scope of His vision. Regardless of who they were; what they needed; or, where they were, Jesus recognized their individual needs and they gave them His full attention.

Here’s a question or two to keep you thinking: Are you aware of what you deem worthy of your care? When was the last time your fingernails got dirty as you ministered to the needs of others?