Why We All Have ADD

by Jan 9, 2007


From an editorial in USAToday:

In the 1968 presidential race between Richard Nixon and Hubert Humphrey, the candidates’ sound bites on network news averaged 43 seconds; by the 1988 race between George H.W. Bush and Michael Dukakis, the average was down to nine…

A frightening collaboration of Madison Avenue, political consultants, film and video editors and other merchants of intellectual miniaturization has at last produced an entire country with Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder. Unfortunately, most of us are so distracted that we haven’t noticed.

In the 1980s, baseball home run highlights took about 16 seconds, the time it took the hitter to circle the bases; by 1990, they were down to eight seconds — swing …cut to ball clearing fence…cut to hitter high-fiving teammates. ESPN has since refined this art to concentration-dicing montages of batters swinging and baseballs instantly landing in the seats. (HT: Veith)

On Sunday night, we were challenged in a great message (sadly, the audio file got deleted) by Keith Huntington to ask ourselves how much we really know God. One of the greatest obstacles to gaining knowledge about God is our endemic attention deficit disorder. If we can’t even sit still for 16 seconds to watch Ryan Howard slug one on SportsCenter, how are we supposed to invest the time, energy, and discipline it takes to learn about God?

A major attention-stealer is our always-on connection to the rest of the world. Our email refreshes every 5 minutes, our cell phone rings at all hours, and our Yahoo home page constantly barrages us with the latest burning headlines. How could a 2,000-year-old book with stories about long-dead people ever hold the same urgency as the Drudge Report?

For me, it takes a daily commitment to avoid checking my email until I spend some time with the Lord. For others, it might take a weeklong fast from the media to kick their spiritual ADD.

More on fasting in tomorrow’s post.