To Be Everywhere Is To Be Nowhere

I sat down to start writing this blog but then my phone buzzed, Instagram declared “you have a new follower!” - awesome. Ok back to writing, but first, I need more coffee. I filled my cup, I exhaled, and thought “ok, let’s do this…” I wrote two sentences before a “ding,” signaling the arrival of a new email, broke my concentration..” I'll just see what it is, and then go back to writing…”
Ben Pierce

Ben Pierce is the Director of Come&Live! and is the younger son of David and Jodi Pierce. Come&Live!’s vision is to create a worldwide mission community that will provoke and inspire Christian artists to use their God-given creativity to revolutionize the world for Jesus.

Website: www.steiger.org/benpierce

It went on like this for a few hours.

I did finish this blog - after all you are reading it right now, but it was a fight. Incidents like this are making me ask the scary question: am I losing my ability to focus?

I recently had the thought “do I ever just do one thing at a time?” An honest evaluation of my day reveals almost constant multi-tasking. Skype calls while driving, texting while watching a movie, writing lyrics while listening to a podcast - one time I had a conference call while on a riding lawn mower! It’s out of control.

We live in an era of unprecedented connectedness. We have access to a vast amount of stimulus, it's in our pockets, on every screen, and every day it grows. The scary thing is that the internet, in particular, is rewiring our brains. In Nicholas Carr’s book “The Shallows” he writes:

“Whether I’m online or not, my mind now expects to take in information the way the Net distributes it; in a swiftly moving stream of particles. Once I was a scuba diver in a sea of words. Now I zip along like a guy on a jet ski”. (7)

Paul warns us in Romans 12: 2 “Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect.”

We live in a world that celebrates instant information, superficial thinking, and multitasking. I have seen the consequences of this on my walk with God. An intimate relationship with Jesus requires us to pull away, to focus our minds and our hearts on Him, to study His word, and to seek Him in concentrated prayer.

The reality is that our world, and specifically the internet, is rewiring our brains in such a way that it negatively impacts our ability to have a deep relationship with anyone, let alone God. Carr warns that “In the choices we have made, consciously or not, about how we use our computers, we have rejected the intellectual tradition of solitary, single-minded concentration…” (114)

He is not speaking from a Christian perspective, but the crossover to spiritual things is obvious. What’s more, our distracted minds are having an impact on our ability to create good art. The best art is fueled by solitude, by deep reflective thinking, and the ability to focus. As Carr writes “what we are doing when we multitask is learning to be skillful at a superficial level.”

I am disturbed by the impact of technology on my brain and my ability to create good art. But far worse than that is what I can see it doing to my relationship with God. Paul says the key to resisting the conforming pressures of the world is to renew our minds. It begins with right thinking.

We need to understand that the patterns of this world, which include the technology of our day, are not neutral. The internet is compromising our ability to focus and connect with God.

I am asking God for the wisdom to know how to resist, create boundaries, and not succumb to the distracted culture of our day or I fear that I will look back at my life and realize that in having done everything, I did nothing.


(7) The Shallows. What the Internet is Doing to Our Brains. - Nicholas Carr.

Related items

  • The Way to Avoid Burnout Is to Burn Out
    You often hear people say we need to live in moderation or that what’s most important is to have a balanced lifestyle. They’ll tell you the goal is to get plenty of sleep, exercise and eat good, organic food.

    If you’re in ministry, you are always told to have boundaries so you won’t get burned out.
  • Episode 81: Can Moral Failure Disqualify Us From Ministry? Is it Possible to Lose God’s Anointing?

    Can sin disqualify us from ministry? How do we deal with people in leadership when they have a big moral failure?

    With all four regulars back, they dive into this intense subject and tackle these difficult questions. They also get really specific and share exactly the kind of words you should use when presenting the Gospel outside of the church.

    Oh and...David shares some beauty tips that will change your life!

    Relevant links to this episode:

    Andy Savage accusations: bit.ly/2mM590e

  • Artist Interview: No Longer Music

    No Longer Music (NLM) is an evangelistic music and theater production led by David Pierce, the founder of Steiger International. For over thirty years, NLM has used the stage to communicate the Gospel of Jesus all over the world.

    This month, I had the pleasure of interviewing my friend, Ben Pierce, the lead vocalist of No Longer Music. Ben is also the director of Come&Live! and host of the Provoke & Inspire podcast. He shared about NLM’s vision and what makes them different from other bands.

  • A Vision of Biblical Proportions
    And Moses called Bezalel and Oholiab and every craftsman in whose mind the Lord had put skill, everyone whose heart stirred him up to come to do the work. And they received from Moses all the contribution that the people of Israel had brought for doing the work on the sanctuary. They still kept bringing him freewill offerings every morning, so that all the craftsmen who were doing every sort of task on the sanctuary came, each from the task that he was doing, and said to Moses, “The people bring much more than enough for doing the work that the Lord has commanded us to do.” So Moses gave command, and word was proclaimed throughout the camp, “Let no man or woman do anything more for the contribution for the sanctuary.” So the people were restrained from bringing, for the material they had was sufficient to do all the work, and more. - Exodus 36:2-7
  • Episode 80: Should Sports Be Able to Make a Grown Man Weep?

    What is it about men in tights throwing a ball that can cause people to weep, climb poles, or burn down a city? Is devotion to sports an unchallenged idol in Christian culture?

    While David, Chad and Ben discuss these questions Luke is apparently still being dragged around Poland by a pony.

    Related links to this episode:

    Revolutionary book: steiger.org/news/books

Come&Live!
Sign up for our newsletter and receive a FREE digital copy of "Revolutionary, Ten Principles That Will Empower Christian Artists to Change the World" by David Pierce.

Country
Please wait