The main goal of the devil is not to get you to do the wrong
thing. It is to get you to do anything but the right thing. He didn't care
which false god Israel worshiped. Any would do, as long as it distracted
them from the true God.
The world provides the devil with more options than ever to distract
us. When bombarded with the spectacular, who pays attention to the dull?
The news in your neighborhood is reality. It's just not as eyecatching
as a tsunami in Taiwan or a hurricane in Haiti or a bomb in Belfast. Prayer,
Bible reading, and helping your neighbor don't hold a candle to wildfires
threatening celebrity homes in Hollywood.
The media compete to hold our attention and the devil doesn't care who
wins: Baal, the internet, texting or Ashtaroth.
Television eye candy is addictive. It grabs your eyeball and won't let
go. The world doesn't need to ban books, good works, family, or church,
it just displaces them with non-stop distractions for the eye and ear.
We trade fulfillment for fillfullment.
Watch any movie trailer and count the number of shot changes you see
in 30 seconds.
We have probably reached the floor. Visual media at this pace creates
brain stupor. Retaining information becomes nearly impossible.
Being careful about what you watch is important, but being careful how
much you watch is at least as important. A drug-induced stupor may be more
dangerous than one induced by television or online surfing, but a stupor
is a stupor, and these days Americans are choosing for more stupor than
For youth to choose the right thing they must learn to control the nonstop
stimuli and constant sources of distraction. That's life in the modern
Shaughnessy is an elder in The
Servants of the Word and the Director of Kairos
in North America. Kairos is an international federation of outreaches
to high school, university and post university aged people. This article
was first published in the May 2011 Issue of the Kairos
North American Youth Culture Newsletter..