It’s so easy to get caught up in life.
We have so much going on.
For most of you, I’m guessing you have a job, a spouse or significant other, maybe a kid or two, you have a hobby you like to engage in here and there, a home you have to take care of, extended family you love and want to spend time with, and friends that are perhaps not as close as they once were. Some of you may even have other endeavors that take your time. Then, there’s the litany of time-sucking entertainment around us; social media, binge-watching Netflix and Hulu, web videos, and those less-than-entertaining blockbuster films.
We have 24 hours in a day and are recommended to spend at least six of those in sleep, though usually more is better. Most of us work eight to ten hours a day, and spend at least one hour total on our commute. That leaves us with around eight good hours a day to engage in other things.
What do you do with your eight?
What we fill our life with greatly determines who we are. Our passions, pursuits, and time spent are the reflections that shine back at us when we look into the mirror and ask ourselves, “Who am I?”
The danger we so easily fall prey to is the danger of getting caught up in the noise of life around us. The noise in our life are those things which aren’t inherently good or inherently bad, but that steal our time and our attention from the things in our lives that matter the most. Sometimes we become entranced in the noise of our lives because we have sinful hearts that chase sinful passions, such as greed or lust. Other times we fall victim because we are too passive and worn-out to fight against the barrage of distractions that we are inundated with on a daily basis. Still other times, we get caught in the “to-do’s”. Especially as Christians, we can easily fall into a mentality which begins to demand our service, and sometimes find that we equate our worth with that service.
Regardless of which of these reasons, or combinations of reasons, that you find in your own life – it’s imperative that we learn to quiet the noise.
We aren’t alone in our struggles.
In the book of Luke we meet two women who welcome Jesus into their home, Mary and Martha.
Here is Jesus, the savior of the world, in their home. He’s come to teach and share a meal with them, most likely.
One of the sisters sits to listen to him; the other is distracted by noise and her list of “to-do’s”.
Which sister would you be?
“Now as they went on their way, Jesus entered a village. And a woman named Martha welcomed him into her house. And she had a sister called Mary, who sat at the Lord’s feet and listened to his teaching. But Martha was distracted with much serving. And she went up to him and said, “Lord, do you not care that my sister has left me to serve alone? Tell her then to help me.” But the Lord answered her, “Martha, Martha, you are anxious and troubled about many things, but one thing is necessary. Mary has chosen the good portion, which will not be taken away from her.” Luke 10:38-42
Did you catch that?
“…Martha was distracted with much serving…”
But isn’t serving good?
Yes, serving is wonderful. It’s commanded by God and even a beautiful reflection of Christ in our lives because He has served us more than anyone ever could.
But while there is a time to serve, there is a time to sit and be still.
To quiet the distractions.
To hush the noise.
In his book, Screwtape Letters, C.S. Lewis reminds us that a wonderful ploy of our enemy to draw us away from God is not necessarily to help us commit heinous sin; but to help us entangle ourselves in so much noise and in so many distractions that we are too busy and clueless to realize we are missing out on sitting at the feet of Christ and hearing what it is He is saying to us.
Jesus demonstrates the importance of quieting the noise in the frequent times where he withdrew to pray.
If we aren’t spending a portion of our eight extra hours a day withdrawing from the noise and sitting at the feet of Christ, we will not be the kind of people God is calling us to be for His mission of making His name known.
Can He still use us? Sure.
Will He? Probably.
But God has a design and plan for how we are to live our lives to the utmost in order to bring Him absolutely glory.
Regular rhythms or even consistent lives of quieting the noise and distractions help us to do the better thing – to constantly sit at His feet and listen.