3 ways to tune out distraction during Christmas and focus on Jesus
Buzzing smartphones, crammed calendars, and those tempting blue tins full of sugary butter cookies are among the many things vying for our attention during a busy holiday season; each one invites us to shift our focus off Jesus and onto other things. But there’s no way around it: If we want to love God and love others, we have to dial down the things that compete with that focus (sorry, Pinterest). To help, try one or more of the following:
3 ways to tune out distraction during Christmas so that you can tune into Jesus
Power down our devices, including the TV
Now’s a perfect time to scale back on media use. Though not inherently bad, media has a uniquely powerful way of monopolizing our time. Whether it’s five minutes on your phone waiting in line or a few hours relaxing with shows in the evening, these “media moments” pull us into their digital world and away from conversations and prayer opportunities right in front of us. Locking away our devices and shutting off the Internet isn’t practical, but finding a way to reduce our media use by even 5% can make a big difference in our ability to not miss what Jesus is up to around us.
Simplify our traditions
One of the things we love most about the Christmas season is gatherings and gift-giving. One of the things we love least is how bloated our schedules get to accommodate them. Take a few minutes right now to write down your events and gift list, and brainstorm ways to simplify. Can you buy gifts from the same store? Can you combine two events into one? Can you scale back on what you normally do? If yes, make plans to modify this year.
Stop doing stuff just because you “should”
Whether it’s a tradition “we’ve always done” or a diet plan everyone seems hot on, it’s easy to commit ourselves to all sorts of things because of expectations placed on us. Reader—stop doing these things. I know letting go is hard, but Jesus wants to free us from self-imposed rules so that we can experience a true life of freedom and invite others to join us. Say yes to the things Jesus has put in your heart to do, and release the rest.
These three suggestions are just a starting place. You know your schedule and routines—including the distractions they include—better than anyone. So spend a minute asking Jesus to highlight any additional ways that you can dial down outside influences and dial into his presence more.