In his DVD teaching series NOOMA, pastor and theologian Rob Bell of Mars Hill Bible Church asks this question, in his talk, Noise.
It’s a great question, and it’s an area of my life that I am greatly struggling with…an area reserved for God…a time and place that I clear of all distractions so that I can listen more clearly to God’s voice. Becuause it’s quite evident from my schedule, my time, and my life that God is not a high priority at this point. Sure, if you were to look at the things that I spend my time doing, it may appear from the outside to look like a life that is dedicated to serving God, to listening to God, to speaking about God. But at a closer look, you would see that my life is so crammed with stuff, that God is the first thing that I push to the side.
And then I wonder why I can’t hear God? Why I don’t more clearly understand or discern what God is asking of me? Why an easy decision is more difficult than it should be, because I’ve so crammed my life with noise and activity that even the day to day simple stuff becomes hard.
“Is there a connection between the amount of noise in our lives and our inability to hear God?” (Rob Bell in Silence/NOOMA)
I think that there is. Look at the pace of your life? Look at your relationship with Jesus Christ and the time you spend with Him. Is there any correlation?
“Have you spent the same amount of time worrying and talking about your difficult, confusing situations as you have spent in silence, listening to what God might have to say?” (Rob Bell in Silence/NOOMA)
I would have to say no. In fact, I spend most of time talking about my problems and situations with others, rather than praying about them, or sitting alone to be with God.
This is a very busy time in my life. I’m full-time college director at Bel Air Presbyterian Church. I’m getting married in June. My fiance and I are shopping for a home to buy. I’m heading out on a mission trip in two weeks. And on and on and on. My life is not any busier than yours, but what I’ve realized is that the more busy my life has become, the less time I have spent with God.
So as you are coming up on the end of your quarter and semester, and you have finals, and papers to write, and relationships to maintain and jobs to keep, slow down enough to ask yourself if God is getting pushed outside of your life.
“At daybreak, Jesus went out to a solitary place.” (Luke 5:42)
“Very early in the morning, while it was still dark, Jesus got up, left the house and went off to a solitary place, where he prayed.” (Mark 1:35)
Why is it that Jesus made time to be alone with God His Father each day, yet we don’t seem to think it’s that important for us to do in our own life? And it was not something that He squeezed in, but rather, His day often began with time alone with His Father in prayer.
These are just some questions to think about and ponder as we head into Wednesday night. God has been teaching me a lot about the pace of my life and the time that I spend with Him, and that is something I want to share with everyone on Wednesday night. So be thinking about the idea of silence, or rest, of solitude, of keeping the Sabbath. And be in prayer about this and how God may reveal these things to you.