Spiritual ADHD.

Warning: this post has the potential to be all over the board and not make a bit of sense when it’s finished. So enjoy the bunny trails.

I’m sitting here drinking my (now) cold peppermint mocha from starbucks, my body can’t decide it it’s frozen or toasty, I have multiple internet windows open containing various other blogposts of fellow bloggers that I want to read, and all my attention seems to be able to focus on is… ehh, I don’t even remember where I was going with that thought.

Actually, that’s the problem.

I can never seem to focus too long an any one thing. My mind will go one direction in a train of thought, and before I know it I’m somewhere off thinking about unicorns and chicken salad… or lunch. I don’t have ADD orADHD – of that I am sure… but sometimes I imagine I have a mild case of it.

I don’t like the idea of being tied down to something for too long – be it a thought, a project, a theme, a book, a class, even some relationships – I have a hard time keeping my interest in things. To be quite honest, I’m actually surprised the blog has lasted this long (I have all my wonderful readers to thank for that… or maybe you don’t want the blame. ha.). The last two blogs I had lasted… I don’t even remember… but I know it wasn’t very long. I’m surprised my best friend is still hanging around. I’m surprised I haven’t quit my job yet, or changed my college major, or changed my non-existent bedtime. *sigh*

You know what else I think I suffer from? Spiritual ADHD. It’s true…

Sometimes I have a hard time sitting still to pray for 15 minutes. Other times I find it burdensome and almost impossible to read 10 pages of my Bible in a day. It’s.just.so.hard.for.me.sometimes. I know, I know – I am so “not Jesus” and unspiritual. {I am personally giving you permission to judge me starting now until you finish reading this post.}

Sometimes I lose my focus and wish I didn’t have the task of serving the Lord in various church ministries. Sometimes I don’t like those little monsters we refer to as “blessings from the Lord” — yeah, that would be children. Sometimes I wish I’d never signed up to serve the Lord in the bus ministry — I mean, it’s really not any fun waking up at the hind-end crack of dawn to drive 45 minutes to where a big church bus is waiting to drive me around to the broken and shabby homes of smelly, undisciplined, uncooperative children who don’t realize that it’s innapropriate to drop “s-bombs” and “f-bombs” at church.

And then there’s the church choir and the ladies’ trio that I play the piano for. *sigh* If you want to talk about a job, let’s talk about the music ministry. Do you have any clue how much work it is to learn music and plunk it out to a struggling choir or ensemble? I didn’t think so. Yeah, sometimes I even regret signing up for that job… and I love music.

Do you understand now why I think I have spiritual ADHD? I lose my focus so quick, I let my mind and heart wander so far that I forget what my purpose is here on earth. I let myself get so caught up in the shiny, sparkly, distracting things of self that I lose sight of what I’m supposed to be focusing on.

It’s so easy to sit there and say how much I love Jesus, how much I want to serve Him with my life, how much I want to share His Gospel with others, how much I want to let my life be a beacon of hope to oth–a party? where!?

See how easy that was? See how quickly I lose my focus? See how soon I’m able to lose my drive for the things of God?

But you know what else… I have a patient, wonderful, faithful Father Who is always there to wave His Omnipotent Hand in my face and get my attention again. He has a way with me that tunes my heart back into His Word and His work in no time. And in addition to all that, God has placed a team of prayer warriors to back my life — and I’m thankful for them.

By the way, I think there’s something you should know… He’s done the same things for you.

Do you ever struggle with “Spiritual ADHD”?
What are some things you do to counteract it?


Posted on May 17, 2011, in Personal and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 23 Comments.

  1. I struggle with spiritual ADHD ALL THE TIME! While I know that this happens to a lot of people, it’s nice to hear when others struggle with it. It reminds me that I’m not the only one. I have a hard time reading my Bible consistently, or even praying consistently. It’s a struggle that I hate – because Jesus is SUPPOSED to be my best friend. Who treats their best friend that way? But it’s so wonderful that he still loves us in spite of these things. 🙂

    • You are right – Jesus IS supposed to be our Best Friend. And yet, as you said, we so often treat Him as if He’s a burden or an annoyance in our lives. I mean, He only died for us…

      Thank you for your comment, Emily.

  2. thank you for sharing such as always an honest entry. spiritual ADD is something not often talked about but is much needed. I’m hoping my prayers last longer and my mind slows down just for him =)I’ll continue to pray for God to pour more patience as you wait on his word =)

  3. Well, been there, will be there again. I understand completely what you’re saying, and really, I don’t know how to get rid of it yet. Some things I’ve found to help is work on discipline to do at least just one thing–one thing–that you’re going to stick to. That builds habit and you can at least look at the day in satisfaction that you did something. After that, set aside time to do nothing. Yes, nothing. Take half an hour or so and turn on some music, sit in a chair and just zone. Eventually you may find a thought to stick to, and then go about the rest of your day. Also, just wait. I think everyone hits these periods every now and then even if they don’t want to admit it, and the only thing you can really do is wait it out.

    Those are my thoughts, know what you’re talking about and will pray.

    P. S. You made me laugh when reading the part about your bus route, I work on one and know exactly what you mean. 🙂

    • I don’t think it’s something we’ll ever get rid of so long as we’re fighting the flesh and the devil. But I know that the more I fall in love with Jesus, the more I love His work – so I’ll just keep loving Him.

      Thank you for the suggestions, and also for your prayers. God bless.

      PS. I just want to clarify that I do love those little bus kids – they are so very precious, and I love to see the Lord work in their lives. :]

  4. The first thing I usually do when this hits me: Tune into some non-Christian music for a short while.

    The second thing I usually do when this hits me (after the first): Go sit somewhere relatively quiet. No music. No TV. No conversations with people. Absolutely no computer/internet. Just half an hour of quiet.

    The whole process can take an hour or two (if I have time), but it can be as quick as twenty minutes.

    Sometimes, I still feel that way. I just strike up a conversation about whatever with God (again, with no music or TV). I can sometimes shut up long enough to try listening to Him.

    • Just one question —
      If I’m trying to help my focus stay fixed on the Savior, why would the first thing I do be to turn on music that has nothing to do with Him, His Word, or His work? How would that help keep my mind on the Lord? How would that feed my spirit and not my flesh?

      I like your second step though — only one thing I would add to it… have your Bible handy.

      Thank you for your comment. :] God bless, my friend.

      • I think what it is is that the music helps remind me of the hope that I have. Many secular songs tend to ask a lot of questions that are answered by the Bible and Jesus Christ (“What is my purpose?” “Why do I do some of the things I do?” “Why is life so hard?” “How come I fail at such-and-such?”).

        Also, this is something God led me to, so it obviously is not for everyone! It is just what I do!

        And I think I took having the Bible handy for granted! I almost always have my Bible nearby!

  5. Thanks for bearing your heart on this. I know I definitely have struggled with this too from time to time. It is truly hard to keep focused. That is why we need not to trust our feelings; it will lead us astray!

    I remember in Sunday School when he talked about that. He said we need to start humming a song about Jesus. We need to allow that hum to turn into a song. Sometimes, a walk with the Lord is work . . . but as you said, we have a very patient and faithful God who understands these struggles. This is why godly friends are so essential too!

    • “start humming a song about Jesus…” and oh, how often I do that. Half of my days are filled with snippets of songs about my Beautiful Savior. He’s been so good to me.

      And you’re right – godly friends as so very essential.

      Thank you for your comment, Rachel. :]

  6. Yes, ministering to kids as we too have been, we know just what you mean by your comments on your kids. Yet God loves them, and they do respond to both His love and ours after a bit of time. And we in fact left one church because we were bringing kids like that, and the church would not accept them.

    But – Wow! Are you really doing all those things? Applaudable as every item is, I don’t see how you can keep doing them all without burning out – or how you can honestly do more than a couple of them effectively. My suggestion would be to wait on God, pray, and listen quietly, and see which one or two he REALLY wants you to do. Then do that well.

    • “And he said unto me, My grace is sufficient for thee: for my strength is made perfect in weakness. Most gladly therefore will I rather glory in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me.” ~ II Cor. 12:9

      “And Jesus looking upon them saith, With men it is impossible, but not with God: for with God all things are possible.” ~ Mark 10:27

      If God had not specifically spoken to me about each ministry that I’m involved in, then I would be happily warming a pew every Sunday. I don’t “pick and choose” the ministries I’m involved in because I necessarily want to do them. I do them because the Lord has blessed me with talents that He intended me to use for His glory and the furtherence of His work.

      My schedule may sound overwhelming (and at times it can be), but I am honored that the Lord placed me where He has. I am thankful that I can take the God-given talents that I squandered for so long and use them to bring Him glory… Honored!

      I have prayed over each ministry, I have waited on God’s answer, I have sought the advice of others in the church — and what it all boils down to is this: “If I and a need meet, God must have had in mind my filling it.” ~ Dr. Jack Hyles

      Thank you for the comment. :]

  7. No. I’m perfect. I do not g….wait….what was that?…et distracted. I always finish what I

  8. Yeah, I know a bit about what you mean. (And yes, I know exactly what it’s like to learn music to teach to a struggling choir member!)

    Do you feel over-committed? If so, is there something you could drop?

    If it’s not over-commitment, then perhaps using a prayer book might help. Ok, I know…we’re evangelicals…prayer books aren’t exactly our favorite things to talk about. But they can also help you structure your prayers. I recommend The Valley of Vision, a collection of prayers by Puritans.

    If you’re interested, here’s the link to it on Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/0851518214/ref=as_li_ss_tl?ie=UTF8&tag=gayandevan-20&linkCode=as2&camp=217145&creative=399349&creativeASIN=0851518214

    • No, I do not feel over-committed. To be honest, I feel like I am not doing enough for the Lord. There’s always something more we could do.

      Thank you for the suggestion – I’ll check out the link and the book. :]

      Blessings to you!

  9. Heather,

    First of all, thanks for this post. Too many times we hear only the wonderful reports of Christian life, but unfortunately not those equally true reports that testify to our human weakness.

    Something I have noticed in my own life, and have also heard from pastors such as Charles Stanley, is that in my zeal to serve God, I have the tendency of “saying without saying”, “Okay God, I’ll take it from here. I’ll serve you my way even though I know I should wait for your real-time instruction.” Sometimes, even within the ministry to which God calls us, it is a natural human tendency to take the “bull by the horns” and then wrestle it around all by our self until we fall, exhausted. Only then do we suddenly realize, “Oh yeah, I forgot this is God’s ministry, not mine. I am not the light – he is. I am the light bulb through which he shines, but only if he controls the switch.” I’m certainly not saying that in fact you are doing this, but just in case you have fallen into the same trap as I have, then hopefully this will help. Otherwise, maybe this will help someone else.

    • Todd,
      I often find myself in the very place you mentioned. I have prayed about it, and I truly don’t believe I’m going through that at this time. With everything that is happening in my life right now, I know that there is nothing I’m able to do without the Lord’s Hand in it. My health, my schedule, the ministries – all of them combined makes me rely even more heavily on the Lord. I know without Him, I’d be sitting on the sidelines in self pity.

      But God is so good, and He’s so faithful to me.

      Thank you so much for your comment!

      • I understand, Heather. I have noticed that we each, at different points in life, go through difficult periods that make us feel like Job in our own personal way.

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