The drowned vice
Posted by Chris Goforth
This is the season of Lent and while I am not one to take part in it. I did have a discussion with a friend of mine who said he had given up coffee for Lent and that led into a great discussion about giving up things when God calls us to do it, but how do we really know hear his voice given all that we do, which drowns out his voice.
Look at the world we live in. We live in one of the richest countries in the world. Even when most of us say we have no money that isn’t really true. Take a moment and put it in perspective. How many times per week do you head to the nearest coffee shop to get something? What about running to the convenience store to grab a pop (yes we in the PACNW call it pop, you might call it soda or Coke depending on the area you live in). Just the ability to go and do those things means we have more money that some folks in a 3rd world country. We are incredibly blessed and probably to our detriment.
As I thought about my life and the vices I have I began to really consider what possibly do I need to give up to really hear the voice of God speaking to me. While I don’t drink coffee, I do go to the convenience store right down the block from my office daily and grab a pop and a snack. I have a smart phone that I carry everywhere with me so as not to miss out on anything including texting, instant messaging and updated my statuses. There is not much I can’t do through my smart phone. I have 3 computers and 2 laptops at my house that I can access anything and everything including watching music videos, movies and TV shows. All the computers have iTunes, Spotify and Pandora on them so we can steam live music.
I went home and took a look around my house. I have shelves full of books and magazines, of which I sometimes read. I have CD’s piled high of which I sometimes listen to. Lots of odds and ends, piles of clutter and junk we don’t need. Shelves of games and cards that sometimes get played. I have a DVD and VCR at home to watch movies. We have had Netflix streaming through our Wii to watch movies and TV shows and 2 large bookshelves at home filled with movies to entertain us.
We go out to eat, or have people over; there are always kids from the neighborhood at our house. We have friends over and entertain; we hang out and talk, eat food and enjoy each other. We go out with friends, meet up for food or drinks and spend time together. If we are busy or running around there is a fast food place we can stop at to grab something to eat. Even the church we attend is large and flashy; it has all the latest technology to keep everyone connected if we miss something on Sunday we can catch up through the internet.
In these things and all our stuff, so often they become more important than God. God is the last thing we think of. Are all these things bad? No I don’t believe so, but what I do see is that we use all of these things, many of them luxuries to fill our time and in doing so; we lack spending time with God. We are so busy hearing all these noises driven by all these vices we have that we are incredibly uncomfortable with silence. We don’t really know what it means to just sit there and be still.
In all the business, how can we hear God speak to us, pour into us, guide and direct us? In my case I look back at my life and see how guilty I am of my vices becoming idols. I have had to come down with really horrible sicknesses for God to take me out and get my attention. In all actuality this is no way to live. God desires to be first in our life. He should be the center of our lives and yet even that may be what we say with our mouths, our actions dictate otherwise. In order for this to happen it has to become a practice. While Lent is a good time for us to reflect on things, I also believe, it is something we should practice all the time and when we hear the voice of God asking us to give up something we should do it.
What things do you need to give up to hear God speak to you?