It was 43 years ago this week when my view of movies changed forever. This was the year Star Wars was first released. I recall waiting in line at the Galleria Theater in Houston for my first viewing. I was blown away by the storyline and special effects. The movie looks dated now, but from the perspective of a 17-year-old in 1977, it was simply amazing. Over the next three years, I watched this movie 13 times. Remember, to see this movie during these times; I had to show up at a movie theater every time.

The Star Wars sequels were highly anticipated, but the impact on me was not as profound as the first movie. I won’t spend time on the prequels and the current batch of films, my only comment is, the thrill is gone. I still like to watch the original Star Wars. The only other movie I put in this category is The Sound of Music, but that is another story.

While I was in college, I was obsessed with reading science fiction novels. My favorite book was the Foundation series by Isaac Asimov. During this period, I read so much science fiction that I have never returned to the genre. What is the appeal of reading books and watching movies on such a far fetch topic as science fiction?

For me, science fiction provided an escape from the struggles of daily life. Is escaping from life’s struggles always a good idea? Not when an addiction or obsessive behavior is involved, these issues are destructive and require help. Temporary escape in a book or movie is invaluable.

I have a somewhat obsessive personality. When I am facing a problem or issue, I tend to grind on the problem continuously, rushing to resolve the situation as quickly as possible. At some point, at an embarrassingly advanced age, I learned the value of separating from a problem or project and returning to it later with a renewed, fresh perspective. To mentally separate, I need a distraction, and for me, it is reading. The distraction can be anything that mentally separates us from a problem.

I believe it is essential to develop and maintain a distraction strategy. Specifically, how will you slow down your mind and release the problem so it can return with a better chance of resolution? I remember thinking, “I don’t have time to take a break from this problem.” The reality is, to solve a difficult problem, I must take a break and refresh my mind.

While this article is not focused on prayer, the distraction factor is just one of the many benefits of turning your problem over to God. Releasing our clenched fist and turning our problems over to God is spiritually, emotionally, and physically refreshing. In addition to the distraction from the issue, there is the added benefit of God responding to your prayer. Prayer is a powerful addition to any life.

Are you facing a difficult problem in your life? What is your distraction strategy? Get away from the problem and rest your mind to help you speed towards a solution.

Make the most of this day!