My father passed away a few weeks ago. We are now in the process of cleaning out his house. You realize, when doing something like this, just how “unimportant” things are. Our closets are over-stuffed. Our garages are slap full of bikes, tools, garden supplies, exercise equipment, and toys. The storage business in the US is flourishing because Americans love stuff and have so much of it, they can’t keep it all at home. And then, you die. Sorry to be harsh but once you’re gone, all those keepsakes and diplomas and awards and photo albums tend to end up in the landfill.
Death has a way of centering us.
We are so easily tempted in this life to turn to the busyness and demands. We are so easily distracted by the overwhelming sense of hurry that consumes modern Babylon. We are so easily sucked in by the politics of left vs. right. We are so easily consumed by media and especially social media which frankly lies to us to spin their narrative.
Tempted. Distracted. Overwhelmed. Consumed. Babylon fills our minds and lives with noise and busyness. The more distracted I am by the busyness of the world, the less room I have to make for God and my life becomes very shallow, very quickly.
The passing of my father has driven this home to me. I realize just how “shallow” I have become. Recognizing Babylon and the busyness, distraction, being overwhelmed might drive you to get “a little more God” into your life. A little more God, while noble, won’t cut it in today’s crazy world. I need to be washed in God. Baptized in Him. Centered on him. A little more God looks like this …
Amongst all our busyness and all the things we need to get done today and this week, we carve out a little space for Him around all these things we are “building”. In this picture, all those other kingdoms we are building and all those other demands keep on pumping, keep on demanding our attention. A little more God is great but it’ll get drowned out in the chaos of your city.
John Eldredge says in his new book, Resilient, coming out in June, “We need to do the opposite. Start with God, center your life around Him, and work outwards from there. Our spirituality moves from something that is part of our life … to being the epicenter of our life – from which all other things flow, and to which all other plans yield.”
You see my city there in that picture. What if God told me to knock it all down, plow it all up and plant wildflowers? “Yeah but that’s my career, my home, my reputation, my things, everything I’ve built my entire life around in that city”. Exactly. All of that winds up burned down, given away or tossed in the landfill upon the end of life.
“A little more God” simply isn’t close to being enough to navigate this present age we live in. A God-centered, God-immersed, God-bathed life is our only true source of fuel and hope and contentment. To get there, you’re going to have to say “no” to a lot of things. Are you willing?