In today’s world, we can do a lot in one day…
By noon, I can already have had a productive morning of work, have shopped all my favourite stores, purchased whatever I wanted by the click of my finger, have gained a rough idea of all my friends weekends via social media, I could have travelled to the nearest coffee shop, caught a dozen (or more) Pokémon, made three or more very important phone calls, AND planned the rest of the week’s “to-dos.”
And that is just in a few short hours…
Fast. Efficient. Productive. Now.
All are words defined by today’s culture.
And people everywhere are on the ever-moving track to “catch up” and have it all. We want success. We want to be productive. We want things done. And we want to be someone…now. And the allure of our fast-paced world has us all moving, trying, and striving every single day.
But there is something that I have found completely true about life…
Even after the most “productive day,” I can still feel that I have missed something. Even after doing and going and moving and succeeding…I can still feel empty. It is because a full day does not equal a full life.
One gives you temporary pleasure and satisfaction while the other gives you sustaining peace and enjoyment. One is challenged and assigned by the world around us and the other is given freely by the present, near, and very real God that you may – or may not – follow.
In fact, one of the most detrimental factors to a growing faith in Jesus Christ is our growing desire to keep up with the world around us. We cannot – as Jesus, himself, states – serve two masters.
So a question is posed: How do we invest time into growing our relationship with Jesus when we live in a world that calls us to do, be, and perform every day?
Too often, we think that the answer is to simply wake up earlier to read and pray more. We think that the action is what God wants; that it will bring about that needed fullness.
But what tends to happen is that we make it a week – or even a month – and slowly begin to pull away from it. It was good…but things did not “change” us in the way we wanted. It was fitting for that time of life…but now we are a little more “busy.”
And the reason this answer does not stick is because growth demands not just a change in actions, but a change in belief. We need to realise that the Spirit of God is in us, around us, and for us no matter what we are doing, who we’re talking to, or what we are reading.
You see, our relationship with God should be as active as our lives. We do not beckon Him when we sit down to pray. We do not open up His mouth when we open up Scripture. He is already working, already moving, already speaking, already guiding, and already transforming…here and now.
Before we awake, He is. And our relationship with Him should always travel beyond the “Amen’s” of our morning prayers and the closing of our Bibles (or Bible Apps). For when we pray and read without developing our belief of Him being present during it, the words seem to feel monotonous, dry, and boring.
But what transforms our reading is when we anticipate Him to speak – and continue to speak; when we believe that what we read now will actually carry over to what will happen in our day. His Word is powerful because it extends beyond the book.
And what morphs our fast-paced culture is when we take note of the God who created it. It is not about bringing God and His word’s into our day, but bringing our constant attention to the God who is still speaking in the day.
Jesus told His disciples often that the “Kingdom of God” was “near.” I think it was to remind them – and us – to always look beyond what we see, to recognise the work that is being done “near” us, and to join in. And this can happen whether reading, praying, working, moving, or catching those Pokémon.
A life to the fullest is one that stays in pace with Kingdom all around. With that said, I challenge you to try this out. Take notice of Him. Seek Him. Speak to Him. Listen to Him. And be changed by the belief that whatever you read and wherever you go, He already is.
Greg McKinney is a writer, pastor and the brains behind Reading Truth. A site filled with free daily devotionals to help you get stuck into the Bible for yourself. Check them out at readingtruth.com.