Put down the phone, find time for God

Saturday, October 20, 2007

I recently came across a short sentence in "The Week" magazine about an interesting study. "Researchers at King's College London University found that, across the board, communication overload causes a professional's IQ to drop 10 percentage points," it said.

Communication overload was illustrated with men and women who are continuously checking their e-mail, text messaging and talking on their cell phone.

We all know these people, or at least we think we do. Some of us are these people. We live in a culture that thrives on being connected and "in the know." It seems, though, that somehow all our ability to connect has left many of us unconnected and, according to this research, stupefied.

"Can you hear me now?" seems to have become not just a mantra for cell-phone reception but a deeper cry for connection and community. "I can get connection," we proclaim, "but is there anyone out there actually interested in listening?"

The short blurb regarding this study has caused me to wonder how much of our busyness is taking away from promised abundance.

God has not called those who trust in him to a life of busyness. He has called us to a full life in him. He has called us to an intentional life in him. He has called men and women to make his name and his grace known throughout the world. He has called us to an active life but he has not called us to a busy life.

At the end of the day, busyness leaves us exhausted and wondering what actually was done during the day. Busyness steals away from our understanding of his greatness. Busyness is a tool of the enemy to steal and destroy.

The enemy will use all of the good things of life such as cell phones, e-mail, happy marriages and activity to distract and steal from us a picture of the greatness of God. God invites each of us to gather a picture of his greatness by inviting us to be still and know him. For a lot of us, being still sounds about as much fun as having a root canal. Though the mountains are crashing into the sea, God invites us to stop and know him. Put aside busyness, your cell phone, your e-mail. Be filled with the wonder of the greatness of God.

Rob Hurtgen is a husband, father and serves as the associate pastor at the First Baptist Church in Jackson.

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