Everyone is busy. It isn’t just you – I promise. Your forefathers were busier. I know that one is hard to believe, but since the Puritans worked 70 hours per week, since John Wesley preached well over 10,000 times, and since Jesus was in demand by hungry hordes around the clock, I think we actually have it pretty good. We’re just whiners… and they weren’t.
The thing that makes our society different from theirs is the number of things that consume our attention simultaneously. Wesley and Whitefield had quiet mornings and quiet horseback rides to their next destinations. We’re cruising through traffic with the radio on and one eye on our mobile phone. We ingest copious amounts of noise and visual signals that crowd our minds for attention.
All the while, God is wooing us to a quiet place where there is no rush, no hurry, and where deadlines don’t apply. He wants us balanced, and He attempts to put certain things into our lives (or take certain things out) in order to help us get there. Such as…
- People who move slower than we do on whom we have to wait – in traffic, in checkout lines, in the next cubicle.
- Economic slow downs. I’m not for recessions, but times of economic boom feed into our drive to grab more while the grabbing is good.
- Illnesses, which are unpleasant, but often knock us down when we’re trying to run too fast.
- Kids, who are precious, but always walk slower than we do and remain under our feet on purpose.
- Cars that need work, landing us in auto service waiting rooms for long hours.
You get the picture. Life’s interruptions almost always provide opportunities to spend extra time with God, to serve someone in need, or to spend quality time with someone we otherwise would have skipped over. And in a world governed by a sovereign God (hence, where there are no accidents), it all fits whether we think it does or not.
One of life’s great truths I learned years ago and need reminded of often is God’s perfect will for my day includes all of the things He has for me to accomplish and nothing extra. If I have things that just won’t fit, they are my things, not His.
You’re probably going to be tempted to grunt today over the interruptions and unforeseen noise. Don’t. Instead, listen.
Why is silence and downtime so awkward for us when it’s the one place God usually has our attention the most?