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March 25, 2020

The vicious cycle of loneliness and distraction

“The seed that fell among the thorns represents those who hear God's word, but all too quickly the message is crowded out by the worries of this life and the lure of wealth, so no fruit is produced.” (Matthew 13:22)

This 3 part series is a breakdown of the talk Hannah shared at the 2018 Womens Luncheon in Florida, “Strong Women: Balancing the Distractions & Reclaiming Our Time” featuring her takeaways from the book “12 Ways Your Phone is Changing You” by Tony Reinke. Our phones are incredibly useful, but like anything else they can become a major source of distraction if we let them.

As a major extrovert, I struggle with loneliness during baseball season. I have traveled with my husband full time since we got married after his rookie ball season in 2014. In the lower levels especially, I was often by myself and began to feel very isolated.

Social media was a quick and easy place to turn to distract myself from that isolated, lonely feeling and see what everyone else was doing. However, seeing everyone else having a great time while I was all alone in a random city ended up making me feel more alone, propelling me to search out further online distractions to numb the pain of feeling isolated, like endless cooking videos on facebook (tell me I’m not the only one??).

It also can be easier to pick up your phone and do the scroll than to engage with real people around us sometimes. Building new relationships can be really awkward. Our phones become a safety zone and a buffer. But this doesn’t help us, this just keeps us isolated. We have to fight to create face to face community where we are, and not hold up our “shields of distraction.”

When I give in to this distraction, and resulting loneliness, I lose track of any aim I have to serve God with all of my heart, soul, mind and strength. We simply can’t multitask like that. The new testament warns us about the unchecked distractions and the way it pulls us out of intimacy with God. (Matthew 13:22 - anxiety distracts us and hardens our hearts from soaking in the word of God, in Luke 10 Martha is so preoccupied taking care of everyone else that she doesn’t take time to listen to Jesus himself in the flesh).

We are all called to glorify God, and we have unique opportunities to do that in the world of professional baseball, whether that is with a large platform or in the small actions of your day to day life. Don’t take that calling lightly! Take back your time when you get caught in the endless scrolling and use it purposefully to glorify the Lord.

Prayer: Father, please reveal to me anything that distracts me from living my life in a way that glorifies you, even in the small things. Help me to understand the value of my time and to prioritize accordingly.

Suggested Reading: Luke 10:38-42

Hannah Sneed

Baseball Chapel
P.O. Box 10102
Largo, FL 33773

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