Why Your Schedule May Be Evicting Christ from Your Life: The Distraction and Clutter of a Busy Life
Piles of papers, stacks of bills, account statements, and adds with circled items lay across my entry way table. Plans for my weed-infested yard, job applications, work assignments, and responsibilities at church fill my mind to such a degree that they spill out onto neatly organized, though nevertheless overwhelming, to-do lists. My life is complicated. It is so busy that it feels like no room is available in my heart, mind, and soul. As, no doubt, your lives too with the busy and the hustle. Each one of these responsibilities, concerns, and plans whisper for attention. But when they all cry out, demanding time and energy, a great and deafening sound overwhelms the senses. One can hardly hear anything else.
Too often the clutter of our lives and the busy of the everyday chunk out everything else. The hours of our lives are chipped away, bit by bit, by the clutter and complication of our lives. Make no mistake, these are the lives that we have created for ourselves. Though simplicity does not feel like an option, we collect and pack things in.
We need that house, a car (two in fact!), that internet-HDTV combo, that magazine subscription, and maybe a second fridge in the garage. This is the average ambition of millions, to collect and have more stuff. I do. I need this and that, and how great it would be to have such and such. My heart is never content with what it is has. There is always the next purchase on the endless list of things to be bought within our heads. But though these things are bought for us to enjoy and control, they control us. They chunk away at our time, our lives, and our priorities.
That new flat screen TV hanging on the wall, now calls us to the couch after work each day. That boat and toy-hauler calls our name each weekend, and we are off to the river together. That computer, so sleek and clean, just hit the market. We need it.
These things call us away to worship before them, in reverence and awe of their glistening entertainment-value beauty. Instead of fulfilling the call God has given you to study, worship, and share your faith, you plop you butt down on the couch day after day watching meaningless and mediocre sitcoms. Instead of going to church and serving a local community while bringing co-workers and friends into the body, you go worship your new god which bobs up-and-down on the water. Instead of using a tool which could further the gospel, it’s spent surfing random websites, chatting on Facebook, and downloading porn.
We clutter our lives and our hearts with anything and everything. There is no unique or vile thing. Pure and good tasks, things, and thoughts fill our minds. These thing and this stuff are not evil. But when everything in life overwhelms and fills our hearts, souls, and minds, and nothing remains for the savior who freed them all, a dark day has dawned indeed.
We have packed our lives and gullets so tightly, that we have evicted Christ from our heart. It is no wonder countless Christians state that they can’t “feel” Christ. When is the last time you spent time with Him? Not on Sunday or in some drive-by prayer. When is the last time you actually sat down, prayed for a solid hour and read the scripture to communion with God? The reality is that if one opens the bible, it is on Sunday mornings, a bible study, or for some academic, head knowledge endeavor. Even pastors spend very little time in the scripture—often only to prepare for a sermon or some lesson that needs to be given.
Our hearts and our devotions are seen in where we spend our time. And how we spend our hours on the weekends, evenings, and mornings before work show what god we worship. Perhaps our god is the newspaper, more sleep, or just having fun.
None of these things are vile. None of these things are hateful or a waste of time. But we all need a reality check. We all need a reminder.
The things you are laboring on; the house, the yard, or that next promotion, is meaningless.
The things your collecting, stock piling, and enjoying; that amazing surround sound system, that really fast car, or the perfect and complete library, is meaningless.
Meaningless, Meaningless, Meaningless.
It is all going to burn and waste away before almighty God as we stand before Him to make an account of every penny spent, every dollar earned, and every minute wasted.
What does He value? What does He want?
Will He say, “Welcome my son! Those hundreds and thousands of hours spent watching TV and playing video games made me really proud!” ?
Will He say, “Welcome my daughter! Those closets full of clothes, the ones you barely wore though spent a fortune, is such a beauty to behold. Well done in collecting such a massive collection!” ?
Will He say, “Welcome! I am so glad you have all those zeros in your bank account. That is why I sent you, not to spend your money on righteous things but on hoarding a fortune.” ?
I tell you, We should all be terrified of the accounting of our lives—of the minutes, dollars, and resources wasted or used to further His kingdom.
Where we can start is right here and now, spending more time in prayer and in scripture—communing with God and asking His will for our lives.
May God sweep away the gods which we have placed on the throne of our hearts, and seat himself in every thought and action we take.
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