Saturday, December 27, 2014

Day 361- An Improvement App First

Some of us were talking about apps today.  I did a search or two on the app store myself.  I found a app that said it could help me improve in several mental areas.  The app said it could help me in some areas including reading comprehension (I read and study a good bit so this would be helpful), brevity in writing and speaking (avoiding redundant words and phrases; this can be helpful for preachers), and memory (I can't remember the specifics on the memory part).  I downloaded and used the Elevate app as my "first" today.

I played several "games" on the Elevate app today. I did a game with each area they offered me. These games are not as fun as other games I've played such as basketball, volleyball, or baseball.  Improvement and not entertainment seemed to be the goal here.  I scored highest on the reading game.  That is not too surprising to me. I scored lowest on listening. That's not good for a husband, daddy, or a pastor.  In my defense, I did not score poorly; it was just the lowest of the scores. For some reason I feel the need to add that information.  The second lowest was math- I should have skipped that area (you get to choose the areas that you want to work on), but I didn't. Who knows why I would choose to work on math at this stage in life?

I could tell that these "games" (I would probably call them exercises) probably would help me.  These may not be the most important areas to improve on, but they would be good. The ability to be concise and exact in speaking and writing would be helpful for me. I don't want to be redundant when I talk. That game would show a sentence and I had to eliminate the unnecessary word. This was a timed exercise.  The reading exercise was rated at a certain speed. They would give you words scrolling down the screen at 210 words per minute for about a minute and then ask you a question about what you just read.  If you got it right, they would speed it up and do the same thing. The questions were not that easy.  I found the exercises to be easy to follow and challenging to do.

New member of our niece's family-Zoey

As I thought about the games, it seems to me that the ability to concentrate is huge in doing well here.  On the reading games, I had to seriously tune in to the words or I would be clueless. The same was true in most of the games. They really required you to engage mentally. If not, I would do very poorly.

I truly believe that we as a society are declining in our ability to concentrate. We have so many things to distract us.  It seems people have a constant stream of phone messages, text messages, Facebook alerts, combined with other mental duties in a day.  We have become a society of multitaskers.  The studies I've read say that we are much poorer at multitasking than we think we are.  People think they are doing several things well but the truth is often that we are several things poorly.

This seems to me to be a great loss. If we are not concentrating we are much more likely to have a traffic accident, misunderstand loved ones, make errors in judgment, and possibly miss the most important  things in life.  We certainly will not be able to walk as closely with Jesus.  I need to be able to give full concentration to His word.  We won't be able to fully focus on God's greatness in worship if we are distracted by a text message or FB alert.  We might not hear that still, small voice of the Spirit as He speaks to our hearts. How can we give full attention to God if we are constantly checking our phones for emails or texts?

I've been challenged today to make sure I'm giving full concentration to whatever I happen to be doing at the moment. The Bible says in Colossians 3:2, " Set your minds on things above, not on earthly things."  That is a decision I need to constantly making-to set my mind on where God wants me to set it.

Setting my mind on Jesus in the abundant life,

3 things I thank God for today
1. Laughter with family
2. Ability to concentrate
3. God is never too distracted to hear my prayer

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