Do you have inconsistent work habits? How about difficulty with organization and planning? Do you need to pace while you think? Maybe you should take a look at this list.
Does this list sound familiar?
- Unable to inhibit, which includes difficulty controlling one’s thoughts and actions
- Has poor working memory
- Lacks foresight and hindsight
- Has difficulty with organization and planning
- Exhibits a poor self-talk
- Exhibits a poor sense of time
- Finds transitions difficult
- Has poor self-awareness and ability to decipher social cues
- Exhibits inconsistent work habits
- Has an extraordinary ability to hyper-focus
- Internalizing and generalizing rules is difficult
- Has a low frustration tolerance
- Is frequently overwhelmed and has difficulty controlling emotions
- Needs to move to feel calm and be able to pay attention
- Shows thrill seeking behavior
- Has problems following a sequence of instructions
Did you guess it? It is the list of behaviors associated with Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD). Two of my own children have been diagnosed with it. I have been scrutinized by other Christians who erroneously believe that ADHD isn’t real, rather, it is a result of bad parenting. I have gotten the rolling eyes and stares from strangers in stores and museums when one of them would disappear (again) or was climbing all over the prohibited areas. It can be lonely, embarrassing, exhausting, and frustrating being the parent of one of these children.
Attention to God Deficit Disorder
The interesting thing about this list, though, is that everyone exhibits these behaviors sometimes. What makes the difference between the average person and someone with a diagnosis is the frequency and duration of symptoms. But in light of our walk with God, I think that many of us have an Attention to God Deficit Disorder. Looking at the above list, many of the symptoms could apply to one’s spiritual walk. I don’t know about you, but I know that sometimes, I struggle with my thought life and, when I’m feeling really discouraged and inadequate, I forget all that God has done in my life. Just. Last. Week. My prayer life and Bible study run in spurts and I get impatient to hear answers from Him. Sometimes I don’t follow what He tells me to do and even wonder why my Christian walk isn’t as exciting as a missionary’s.
Counselor, Teacher, Father
Can you relate? Do you suffer as I do sometimes with Attention to God Deficit Disorder? The best part is that, if we have given our lives to him, Jesus never leaves us and never gives up on us. He is our understanding Counselor, gently leading us in the path we must travel to learn to be like Him. Jesus is our patient Teacher, who renews our minds. He is our loving Father, who loves us unconditionally in spite of our shortcomings. He never comes up to us to say, “You’re not trying hard enough.” Our Lord never calls us stupid, clumsy, reckless, forgetful idiots who’ll never learn, as children with ADHD sometimes hear. Instead, He picks us up, brushes us off, and says, “Follow me.”