Ooo! Shiny!: Evaluating My Tools, Toys, and Tangents

As perfectly stated by Melissa Taylor on her recent blog, “This world is full of shiny things begging for our attention.” ( And I, like so many, am guilty of being distracted and following the latest and greatest shiny thing that catches my eye. However, when we are distracted by our clamoring culture, we fail to hear God’s voice and and fail to release control to the Him. Yes…this is all about control. Letting go of control. And so the journey of Let. It. Go. continues…

In Let. It. Go., Chapter 2, by Karen Ehman (, I was incredibly challenged by the question: “Is it a tool, a toy, or a tangent?” This provoked me to continue the self-evaluation that God had begun in my life just a few short months ago. A self-evaluation to re-prioritize, de-clutter, and re-focus everything in life. Now, I feel like I am in a much better and honest place to answer this question, although I still have a long road ahead.

As I consider today what clamors for my attention I am very aware the world today–facebook, twitter, pinterest, i-phones, computers…all of technology for that matter. I have thankfully been able to limit these distractions (for the most part) so they remain as just tools, but sometimes I feel myself getting sucked in. Those late nights when I should be sleeping or would benefit more from time in the Word, and yet a whole hour will pass by as I scroll through my facebook wall or pinterest boards. Scrolling and scrolling mindless. Trapped by the tangent. Yes, I too get sucked in and distracted by the shiny things posted by all of my “friends.”

Perhaps, however, the aspects of life that clamor most for my attention are my own selfish desires and pride, fueled by Satan’s attempts to divert me from the Lord’s path. And so instead of focusing my time and attention on the tools and activities that really matter, I follow the tangents of self-improvement, worldly success, and worldly beauty. I have determined to set boundaries–How much money will I spend on “improving” myself, when God has really given me all the tools I need in his Word? How much time will I spend exploring future career opportunities, education, and self-help resources when God has clearly given me a purpose here and now? How much time will I devote to my beauty when its ok to live a simple and healthy life? Do I really need to try every diet, every work out routine, every new fashion trend? Has Pinterest become my Bible? And so the evaluative questions go.

I’ve come to learn that if don’t make an effort to eliminate these tangents, they will ultimately begin to control me! And as a control-freak, that is NOT acceptable!

8 thoughts on “Ooo! Shiny!: Evaluating My Tools, Toys, and Tangents

  1. Great post! Isn’t it amazing how Karen just hits the nail on the head for each of us! I can so relate about being sucked in to the time trap (tangent) of Facebook! There have been many nights when I wake up and can’t sleep. Instead of spending time in prayer or reading my Bibke I grab my iPad and start scrolling away! Thank you for sharing!

  2. I struggle with getting caught up with social media. Although my facebook provided me with scripture and devotions, I need to not get wrapped up in all the posts. I have to make a conscious effort to pull away and focus my attention on life and the Word.

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