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By Ginny Jensen

“How to Actually Concentrate” by Carolyn Yates addresses concentration in our everyday life. It also has a great application to how we approach our relationship with the Lord.

Time with the Lord requires more than going through the motions. We often struggle to concentrate on the mundane things of life. So, how do we focus on the Lord? Yates provides several tools in her article to help build concentration or focus. She points out that we are so used to multi-tasking that we struggle to focus on one thing. In our time with the Lord, do we consider our environment? Do we intentionally put aside our “lists”?

This is where creating times of solitude and silence allow us to concentrate and remain focused. Though they are two different practices, they go hand-in-hand.

  • Focused solitude is a time to “catch up” with yourself. Once we have become focused in this way, we can, in silence, hear Him.
  • A regular block of time each day in solitude considers the day’s highlights to help keep you focused throughout the day on what God has done.

Taking a longer time (an afternoon, day, or multi-day retreat) periodically will allow more time to process through what you discover in your daily examinations.

“We are so afraid of silence that we chase ourselves from one event to the next in order not to have to spend a moment alone with ourselves, in order not to have to look at ourselves in the mirror.” – Dietrich Bonhoeffer

Take some time today to look in the mirror and have a conversation with the Lord about what you see.