Have you ever heard of the ‘shiny object syndrome’? You know how when you are working on something, focused on something, but someone new, something new catches your eye, and your attention is drawn in a different direction. Yeah, I’m sure many of us are very familiar with this. Focused on one thing and your peripheral catches a glimpse of something and suddenly it’s like, ‘Ohhh! Hmm! Nice! Okay, I’m listening! Okay, you have my attention! Hmm, let me check this out! Gimme just a sec!’
These ‘shiny object’s are often distractions that appear in the form of a person, thing, or even situation. I wonder how quickly do you allow it to hold your attention, or better yet, how disciplined are you in refraining from allowing it to even capture your attention. This word ‘refrain’ can be broken down in so many ways. (time). So here’s what comes to my mind…
To refrain from allowing a distraction to steer our focus from family, work projects, or even God-given assignments, we have to have some level of self-discipline, as well as self-control. The enemy loves to throw things of the world in front of us to get us off course, especially when he knows we’re headed in the right direction, God’s direction.
And for many of us, we have to train ourselves to not be so easily distracted by people and/or things that look good to us, but are not good for us. It’s a process of understanding why some things are not worth redirecting our attention to, and why what we’re focused on supersedes anything else that may try to gain our attention.
I shared the picture above because it depicts the reality many of us face as far as having a focus even though there are so many other things outside of it vying for our attention. And please know, the ‘money’ in the pic can symbolize anything of importance for you that requires great focus (again, family/work/God-assignment, etc.).
Something else that comes to mind when it comes to having a spirit of refrain, if you will, is knowing your why. Why is the thing you’re focused on so important? Here are a few examples:
- I will refrain from looking at him/her (especially when they are obviously trying to get your attention for the wrong reasons) because I don’t want to give off the wrong impression, or because it’s not worth jeopardizing what I have even for just a glance.
- I will refrain from eating fast food because that money could be a blessing to someone else, that could be money I invest in myself to advance in life, or because I want to be a better steward of what God has given me.
- I will refrain from eating this because I need to lose weight, it’s not good for me considering existing health issues, and again, my body is not my own and I want to be a good steward over what God has given me so I can do the work he’s called me to do.
- I will refrain from saying certain things to people because I know how much power lies within even one word. I want to lift and build people up as opposed to breaking or belittling someone. Also, I don’t want to risk a relationship that could be the step for the next level up.
- I will refrain from treating someone a certain way because I wouldn’t want to be treated as such, I wouldn’t want them to treat my mom/dad/sibling, dear friend as such. Also because my kindness to them could be the positive awakening they’re in need of, or a sign from God that someone really does care about more than self.
So these are just a few examples. To refrain is to allow yourself to be disciplined while practicing self-control because not doing so could cost you what really matters the most.
Thanks for reading. If you have a love for writing, but often times not sure what to write about, this is a good place to start and stay as we receive weekly word prompts from Kate Motaung via the Five Minute Friday Community Page. All you have to do is write for five minutes.