Written by Vinnie Tumia.
Balance is challenging to master. Some people struggle in life, swinging from being lazy to being fully driven. Others live in the death grip of one or the other. Laziness has a way of lulling its victim to sleep, while those who are driven live off the thrill of being active, never able to settle down. Both extremes are dangerous for us spiritually. The art of balance is essential to knowing God.
“Be still, and know that I am God: I will be exalted among the heathen, I will be exalted in the earth.”
This is perhaps one of our culture’s most abandoned and misrepresented concepts. And unfortunately, there is both too much and too little time to do it all.
No way! Even those of us who are lazier still find ways to be constantly entertained, and no time to be still. The issue then is not just our personality or surroundings. We often think that we could solve this problem if our lives were different.
A different generation.
A different job.
A different family.
A different personality.
A different spouse.
A different church
We can dream all day about what would make us better, but the problem is built into us. God designed the weekly sabbath way back in the OT for that reason. He understood the distracting nature of the human heart. Distractions are not only an issue of noise, electronics, or people.
Our hearts are prone to wander. Period.
Hudson Taylor complained about his preoccupied heart as he sat to do devotions in a dimly lit Chinese structure in the mid-1800s. We all find distractions, no matter our circumstances. Distraction is one of the most subtle tools of our enemy. One thing is for sure- God has never changed His mind about the principle of being still.
If we must be still to genuinely know God, then the opposite is just as valid. The more frenzied and entertained we are, the less we will know God.
So how do we minimize distraction?
• Find a secluded, secret place and visit it regularly.
• Schedule solitude into your week.
• Find your paper Bible for less distracted reading.
• Silence technology and its notifications.
• Discipline yourself to sit long enough for God to speak.
It’s up to us to make time to be still, tune out the world’s noise, and let God reveal Himself to our thirsty hearts.