October 1, 2004
The first thought that goes through my mind when I’m stopped at a red traffic light is, “When can I go?” It seems it is important to rush to the next red light and wait again. Rush. Stop. Rush. Stop. Are we getting anywhere yet?
School has started. Vacation is over. Have you ever thought about how busy our lives really are? Life seems like a rush to the next event. Yet, when we get there our main concern is thinking about what comes next. What a tragedy if we get to the end of life never having stopped to enjoy the trip.
Time dominates our lives. Daylight savings time ends on October 31st. Don’t forget to “fall back.” I’m amazed at how many clocks we have. Battery powered, plug in, digital, analog. We wear watches. Our cell phones have clocks. The car has a clock. Every room at home has a clock. It seems we cannot buy a major appliance without purchasing a clock. The danger of having more than one clock is that we never really know what time it is.
Why do we have this incredible, stress inducing, need to know, “What time is it?”
“And when He [Jesus] saw the multitudes, He went up on the mountain; and after He sat down, His disciples came to Him. And opening His mouth He began to teach them…” (Matthew 5:1,2)
Jesus, seeing the crowds of people, goes up on the mountain and just sits down to wait. Huh?
I know people who actually start to shake when they think about just sitting. Their first question is, “For how long?” “Just sit?” “And then what?” “What a waste of time!” they say.
Yet, Jesus, busier and with more responsibility than any of us will ever have (try being responsible for smooth running of creation), in the face of a time consuming, demanding event, goes up on the mountain and sits.
We know this all too well. If we do not stop and listen to God we cannot hear Him. In the middle of rushing and the constraints of time, we need to stop and listen to Him - His voice is the voice of calm and reassurance and guidance we need. In the midst of things we think are important His voice is what is important. He speaks the truth of who we are and what life is really all about.
Brothers and sisters, let me encourage you to carve out time to listen to God. To be with Him is worth every moment invested. Nothing is more important. Time with God is never wasted.
Four suggestions: 1) Determine to set aside some time each day to be alone with God. 2) Spend the first part of your time reading the Bible and the second half praying. 3) Try to spend time listening to God rather than talking at Him. 4) Write down whatever thoughts God gives you.
A few Scriptures to encourage you…
“Be still and know that I am God…” (Psalm 46:10a)
“But those who wait on the Lord shall renew their strength. They shall mount up with wings like eagles. They shall run and not be weary. They shall walk and not faint.” (Isaiah 40:31)
“Therefore I will look to the Lord. I will wait for the God of my salvation. My God will hear me.” (Micah 7:7)“Now in the morning, having risen a long while before daylight, He [Jesus] went out and departed to a solitary place; and there He prayed.” (Mark 1:35)