I am very familiar with what ADD looks like not only in my own life but also in the lives of others because I am a teacher. I have, at times, had classes that were so easily distracted that it was like trying to teach the dogs on "Up!" All it would take was a minor distraction and the entire class was off and running in a different direction. I used to say "Squirrel!" to help them realize they were getting off-track - AGAIN!
There is a truly funny comedian named Michael, Jr. (link) who really did a great job of describing ADD. He says it stands for "Attention- Deficit -Hey I like that necklace you have on!" You may think that is an exaggeration, but I have found myself talking to someone and being distracted by their shiny watch! I have, of course, learned to control my impulsiveness, well - at least a little. I even use it to help me teach. My students know that if they start talking while I am teaching, I will forget what I'm saying and they'll have to listen to the same lesson over and over and over....they are usually willing to help me out by not talking. Well, most of them anyway.
The problem is, I am finding that my ADD isn't limited to my physical life. It raises its head in my spiritual life as well. Just like I can lose focus on a conversation, I can also lose focus of what God is trying to show me. I take comfort in the fact that I have such a loving God; He not only knows the last thing He told me, He also knows the last thing I heard and understood. He gives me instruction again and again until I "get" it. But being ADD spiritually means that even when I understand what I'm supposed to do, I can be distracted by the first "shiny" thing that comes my way.
Cool new tv show - distracted. Anger at someone - distracted. Weight gain - distracted. Slow traffic - distracted. Family problems - distracted. Frustration - distracted. It doesn't really take much and before I know it I've gone off on a tangent and totally lost focus spiritually.
I would say I can't help it, but the truth is I CAN focus on what I really want to. I don't have any problem keeping my focus on a tv show that I like, or a book that draws me in, or whatever it is that gets me excited. I have friends who are severely ADD, but they can sit silently in a deer stand for hours at a time, waiting for that one shot at a deer. I have seen students who could literally lose their pencil between picking it up and putting it to the paper they were so easily distracted, yet they could analyze every play in a football or baseball game.They might not be able to pay attention long enough to hear my instructions, but they caught every bit of the juicy gossip their neighbor had to share. You get the picture. I don't pretend to understand it all, but I know I can pay attention to what I really care about.
The question is, have I lost my focus on Christ and what He has called me to do? This week has been one of those where it was easy to lose focus. Things came flying at me from every direction and at times I felt like covering my head with the blanket and just staying in bed rather than face the day. Then God helped me to refocus. It's amazing what happens when you do that. The things that come at you seem to fall away and you while you may see them, they don't cause you to go chasing squirrels. There is renewed joy in your step...mainly because you are finally walking again with PURPOSE!
How about it? Are you spiritually ADD? Maybe it's time to refocus and get back to what God has called you to do. Take it from someone who is easily distracted and is currently learning to refocus on what God has called me to do - focus can make all the difference in the world.
Hebrews 12:2 (Amplified) Looking away [from all that will distract] to Jesus, Who is the Leader and the Source of our faith [giving the first incentive for our belief] and is also its Finisher [bringing it to maturity and perfection]. He, for the joy [of obtaining the prize] that was set before Him, endured the cross, despising and ignoring the shame, and is now seated at the right hand of the throne of God.(A)