What Are You Watching?

When my son was young, he was active. It was hard to keep him interested in anything for very long. Never one to watch a video or sit quietly in front of the TV made it challenging to keep him busy. But if road construction was happening, he would sit and watch it all day. He loved the ‘diggers’ and ‘rollers’. He got quite good at digging holes in the backyard. Anytime we were near a construction site, he would tune in. He’d just watch what was happening. Mesmerized by all the machinery he loved to watch people building things.

I’ve found that to be unusual behaviour. Most people prefer to watch things fall apart rather than be built up. Cars slow down to stare at an accident. TV shows have higher ratings when people are fighting in relationships. Social media gets more traffic if people are being nasty to one another. Watching people build something or watching beauty doesn’t seem so interesting. Why is that?

Our attention gets drawn to conflict and drama, yet we want peace and joy in our own lives. What if we focused more on that? What if we looked for the positive rather than the negative? “Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things.” (Philippians 4:8)

 What we pay attention to has an impact on our mindset and our life. Where we put our thoughts or what we think about matters. That’s not pretending as if there are no problems in life, but we don’t have to put all our energy into our difficulties. Taking time each day to consider the praiseworthy things can give us extra strength to overcome the more negative ones.