Stop My Mind From Wandering

I’m fixing a hole where the rain gets in
And stops my mind from wandering. Where it will go.– The Beatles

Listening to The Beatles for a while on the drive back from vacation Sunday. I’m not sure what they meant (John and Paul may not have known either). The words seemed to fit my vacation reading that focused on, well, focus.

Sometimes we have a hole in our consciousness that lets our mind wander where it will go.

Ever sit down to read the Bible or a study book on a Biblical theme, or again sit down to pray or contemplate on the words? And your mind wanders to things you need to do, conversations left undone, worries about what might happen tomorrow?

Or, worse, your smart phone attracts your eye. “I’ll just check Facebook or Instagram quickly and see if I’m missing any important news from my ‘friends’,” you think. Oops, there went a good 20 minutes and it’s time to go somewhere and opportunity to think missed.

I’m helping with the marketing for small coffee shop with a mission. You can “like” High Grounds Cafe on Facebook. I post messages regularly on the Facebook page (it is a great marketing media for local business). But…I’ll go to Facebook to post a message and my news feed pops up. Side note: they call it news, but there is no news–some updates on what people are doing and a stream of thoughtless political shots at someone. Anyway, a photo catches my eye. 15 minutes gone, poof, wasted.

Deep thinking and concentration are skills that must be developed and practiced.

Usually you need a ritual. For example, get up in the morning (early), fix a cup of coffee or tea, gather your reading material with a pen and paper, and sit in your favorite chair in a quiet location. Do it regularly.

Be aware of your mind. When it starts to wander, don’t panic. Just fix the hole gently and return to concentration. You will find that you can spend 15-30 minutes totally immersed in your reading and prayer.

If your job, like mine, requires thinking and writing, you can build up to 90 minute stretches of time, short break, and another 90 minutes of real work.

Fix that hole in the roof that allows your mind to wander. See how richer your life will be.

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