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I noticed something odd at the gym today. Every machine was occupied but no one was exercising. Not one. (and, no, this is not a post about health or fitness).

What were all these people doing if they weren’t working out?

Looking at their cell phones.

I shook my head in disbelief.

And then something weird happened. Not five minutes later I picked up my phone and scrolled through Instagram!

Fortunately, I caught myself before I spent too much time scrolling and not enough time doing what I intended to do—exercise. But my experience got me thinking about all the ways we get offtrack throughout our day.

  • We want to be emotionally present with our kids, but we multitask and live distant.
  • We intend to listen well to our spouse, but get busy and distracted.
  • We plan to spend time in prayer and reading the Bible, but “life” gets in the way.
  • We long to connect with friends but our “to do” list crowds out space.
  • We mean to go to church, but activities, sickness, and Sunday morning “blahs” keep us away.

Why is any of this a big deal?

Lack of focus is stealing our life.

When we attend to anything other than THE thing we intended to attend to, we’re left feeling emotionally, spiritually, and relationally fragmented.

Fragmented people don’t feel peace or accomplish their most important purpose.

No doubt you’ve heard the Hebrew word, “shalom,” which in English means peace. But, did you know that “shalom” also means “wholeness, completeness, welfare, contentment and tranquility?”

Peace, or wholeness, is found when we are wholly present. And more specifically, when we live with an awareness of God’s presence.

In contrast, the word used in the Bible for “anxious” (like when Jesus says to Martha, “you are worried and anxious over many things”) means, “a part, as opposed to the whole; divided into parts; drawn in opposite directions.”

Drawn in opposite directions. Could have been written with the year 2023 in mind—right?

What does this mean for me and you?

God’s way of doing life brings “shalom.” Our culture and its ways may lure us into fragmented, distracted living. But, like me today in the gym, we can become aware when we lose our focus and course-correct our attention toward the things that really matter: people and God.

Jesus said it best, “few things are necessary—really, only one.” (Luke 10:42).

What or whom do you need to focus on today? How will you defend yourself against distractions? Think about it and let me know, will you?



P.S Over on the “That’s Just What I Needed” podcast you’ll find some encouraging interviews with some wise, wonderful, nationally know authors (and a few episodes that are simply little ole’ me.) Every episode is designed to encourage, equip, and inspire you. Check it out! You can find it on Apple Podcasts, Spotify podcasts and all your favorite podcast platforms. 

And if you don’t already follow me on Instagram, I’d love to connect with you there. You’ll find me @donnaajones

PSS. After I wrote this blog I was backing out of my driveway, got distracted, and hit a tree! In my own yard!!!!  So, yeah, I’m taking my own words to heart and ditching the distractions. 🙂 


More than a Bible teacher, Donna is a self-described Bible explainer. A colorful storyteller who combines Biblical truth with real-life anecdotes, her messages not only help listeners understand God’s Word, but most important, grasp how to live it out in real life.