Thursday, January 27, 2011

Distractions

I'm amazed at the amount of distractions there are constantly beckoning to us. All shapes, sizes, colors, and types. It doesn't matter which one distracts as long as it successfully distracts from what truly matters. Deep down we all have some sense of what matters the most. But it's so easy to become distracted.

I've heard many many differing views of various topics, and doctrines in the Gospel. Those who have left the church often have a variety of views of the temple. Some loose faith because of it. I too have found challenges and confronted things that were not solvable easily. Some competing arguments can be very distracting from faith. It's balanced, and we get to choose in favor of faith or in favor of something else. With a glimpse of the underlying purpose and intent however, all the rest seems just a big fat distraction. If someone can present a point of view to discount an ordinance, or make it look like it's just trying to control, or trigger negative feelings it can easily distract from the true underlying intent that is divine.

While thinking about this I came across a neuroscience blog that had some interesting things to say about distractions.

"Some people use distractibility and impaired sustained attention interchangeably, but they are different. Some people have quite strong abilities at being able to sustain attention, but they may also be exquisitely sensitive to distraction.

In this study, we get a chance to see why distractions make it hard to learn. The areas of the brain (prefrontal) that are necessary to resist distractions are exactly the same areas that are needed keeping information in mind. It looks like a direct competition.



Other interesting details - we are more sensitive to distraction at the limits of our memory (the more challenging the task) and when the distracting sounds are fluctuating, rather than constant like a hum." (http://eideneurolearningblog.blogspot.com. Drs. Fernette and Brock Eide)

Magicians use the tool of distraction to hide the truth. That seems to hold true in many many areas of life. The adversary is said to be the "great deceiver". I think to deceive and to distract are closely linked.  The adversary will first and foremost distract us from coming to Christ.  If he can distract from that with personalities, awe of leaders, non central Gospel topics, ideas, emotions, and cultural testimonies......  than he has deceived us.

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