I sat on the back porch of Grandpa’s house last week (I like to call my FIL, “Grandpa”).
As I stared at the mountains that dominate his backyard view I thought about what it must have been like for Moses to have traveled up that Mountain for the 10 commandments. To have had that kind of contact with God only to return to find the people bathing in sin.
The next thing I knew, I found my eyes distracted by the twinkling red and white lights of the freeway – snaking along the valley corridor.
A mountain parable and a modern day interstate: Talk about a juxtaposition.
We were in the desert country of Southern California, San Bernardino County. I haven’t spent much time in this region of California, but I moved away from there years ago. Though I have tried to keep SoCal in my rear-view mirror, something repeatedly brings me back. I recognize California is considered one of the most desirable places to live in the Country, if not the world.
Southern California has changed and continues to. But this time around, I really didn’t recognize the area. Freeway construction made roads I had once known look totally different. The freeway construction didn’t seem to improve traffic in the already heavily burdened areas. The freeway congestion was insane. I haven’t seen a true traffic jam in ages – and I don’t miss them. But they were eye-opening.
I couldn’t fully see The Lord’s message when we were in the middle of the traffic snarl but I did once I was looking at it from his vantage point.
One evening, as sunset transitioned to night. I looked out at the mountain range separating the desert area from the Inland Empire. It was then He spoke to my Spirit.
“Don’t let your emotions get the better of you. I know how you feel about this territory. But, I made this; Everything you see. I understand your heartache. Your heart is breaking with mine. But your feelings are misdirected.
You are gaining traction in your understanding. You are making headway. Keep searching. I am always there, paying attention. I will answer, keep asking.”
That’s when the realization of his words struck me: “I made this” (that, and the word) *Busyness*. The seemingly endless line of cars that traveled along the Interstate: Day and Night. Not only have we become caught up in our busyness, we have allowed it to take center stage. We are always in a RUSH to get somewhere; a meeting, an appointment, a game…
Busyness has become our attention getter. Everyone is consumed with being busy. As if it is the answer for our ills and woes.
It’s not. It’s a tool the enemy uses against us. Call me crazy…cause most people think *being busy* is the right thing to do.
I know better now.
Being busy is exactly what the enemy wants us to be consumed by and with.
Busyness is the tool that gets us further away from God the busier we get.
But Do You know Why?
God speaks in hushed tones. So how can we expect to hear the voice of God, which speaks to us when we are settled, quiet and focused on him, if everything in our world is adrift in noise, crowds and motion?
Think about the Book of Revelations. John received the future visions while he was exiled on the Island of Patmos. People couldn’t relate to John because his experiences were already “other worldly.” Most people are comfortable living in the here of now of what they can see. That is, what they believe the “normal person” can see. John was being shown things because he was a willing servant. He was willing to believe. He was willing, PERIOD.
Jesus even said that the narrow road is hard to find and even more difficult to follow. He gave us the first example of the narrow road: by way of his crucifixion. As much as Jesus didn’t want to die – He did it for us. An unmatched love that none of us deserves but was given to be received AND accepted!
And that is when I realized while I had a distaste for the West Coast and California, my feelings had been displaced and there was a carnal reason for it. But without God’s leading I would not have understood them. This understanding was “other worldly” but was what I needed to hear and in His “perfect timing.”
I’ve spent a lot of time reading bible scripture the last few weeks. I read several books in the New Testament, a couple I’d never read through, and God spoke to me. After decades of asking questions, He’s finally answering. By the way, there is a reason The Bible is referred to as “The Good Book.” It is full of answers. Many of the questions I have asked over the years are now being answered as I leaf through the pages. But, that’s not the only way He’s been answering. His methods astound me.
When I first started blogging I’d intended to write about Busyness but never finished it or published it. I didn’t know it, but He knew I was neither ready to write it or publish it.
I have a better understanding of Busyness now. Busyness is a distraction laid upon us in guilt by the enemy. Plain and simple. I now realize how often I have published Blog posts in haste, feeling like I needed to rush. As if I was doing my readers a favor by publishing content quickly and often. Yes, frequency and content are King in the blogging world…but who am I answering to? Who am I writing for?
Jesus was calm, patient and intentional. He had a purpose and a plan.
What does my writing in haste, accomplish?
If we are fixing our eyes on God, focusing on Jesus and asking for His direction the work we do will never be forced or a way to keep idle hands working. It will be about building God’s Kingdom. The ONLY thing that matters.
I have really questioned both my writing ability and my blogging presence in the past. I am one voice in a sea of (seemingly) millions of bloggers and writers. There are days when I write well and The Lord is using my words to convey power and HOPE. Then, there are others, when – well, (I feel like) my writing just *stinks* (sniff, sniff).
But on this trip, something happened that made me realize that writing IS who I AM. Not just because I want to or need to, but because if I don’t I am wasting a Gift that God gave me. Inevitably, a Spiritual Gift that also comes with responsibilities. And you will likely be surprised (as I am) where and how I realized this.
It’s hard to forget staring out at the sea of Interstate Traffic…watching the lights glow and then hearing him whisper: