Are You Making God Compete for Your Attention?

You have a lot of demands on your time and attention. Whether it is your job, your home, your kids, your grandkids, your elderly parents, school, sports, or all of the above, it can often feel as though there are just too many things competing for your attention.

But in the midst of all these demands on our time, how much attention are you giving to the Lord? Is he just one of the many things you have to fit into your day, or is He a priority? Recently on St. Joseph’s WorkshopFather Matthew Spencer discussed the importance of making God a priority each day, and how easy it is to let other things crowd Him out. Father Matthew said:

“This is what it comes down to: God is competing for your time. There are so many other things that want your attention, that want to take you away, that want to take you inside of a loop that doesn’t allow you to go back to God. And maybe it’s because they want advertising revenue, maybe its because they want to push a particular agenda. There are lots of different reasons people are doing this. Oftentimes it’s money, but oftentimes it’s power as well.

If we’re not careful to give God time, and to pay attention to God in our life, all of our day will be sucked away by the concerns of the world, by distractions, and ultimately things that will never satisfy us anyway. When was the last time you finished a three-hour binge on Facebook and thought, ‘Wow, that was a great use of my time. I really feel like a better person after I found out what my third cousin twice removed is doing over in Timbuktu.’

There is a threat to our sanctity, there is a threat to our sanity in our world today. And if we’re not careful, all of our time can be taken away by this.

God wants your time and He wants your attention. But He needs you to decide to give it to Him. And if you’re not careful, then so much of your time will go to worldly things. Not all of them sinful, in and of themselves, except that they become excessive and then it turns into sin because we are not using things in moderation.

How do we do this? How do we give God more of our time? I think it is first a deliberate exploration of how our time is used throughout the day. I hear from people a lot who will tell me, ‘I don’t have enough time in the day to pray. I don’t have enough time to pray the Rosary, I don’t have time to stop by the church to pray for a few minutes, much less do a Holy Hour in front of Our Lord.’

And I understand the constraints of time that we have. And I understand that you have a busy life, whether it’s work, taking care of the kids, taking care of your mother-in-law, the whole spectrum of responsibilities that we have.

But if we ever imagine ourselves saying that we don’t have time to pray, it’s like saying we don’t have time to breathe, we don’t have time to eat. We are missing out on something essential in our life. And that is something we need to take stock of. We need to evaluate how we are using our time, and how well are we giving priority to the different activities in our life, so that time with God takes priority.

We have this very important responsibility in our lives – to choose God over things. And to choose a relationship with the Lord over created goods. It’s about priorities and it’s about how we use our time. It’s about how you and I are going to truly be disciples of the Lord, and I think that begins by making time for Him.”

Listen to the full reflection below:

St. Joseph’s Workshop with Father Matthew Spencer airs weekdays at 7:00 p.m. Eastern/4:00 p.m. Pacific on Relevant Radio® and the Relevant Radio App.