When the quiet comes

Posted: 2011 10 27 by Chris Goforth in Authentic Man, Biblical manhood, Challenge, Hardcore Christian Men, manhood, masculine, masculinity, Relationship

Social media and connecting with others in an instant has never been easier than it is now.  Thanks to smart phones we can instantly connect with folks from around the world with the touch of an app.  Texting, instant messaging, Skyping, Facebook, Twitter all afford us the ability to connect with someone wherever we are at, whatever we are doing.

Like myself if you are a social person, I would bet you are involved in one or all of these.  It has become a way of life for many of us quite easily.  In taking part I have been able to connect with people all over the world in ways I never have before.  I have created relationships and friendships through modern technology that I wasn’t able to 10 years ago.  Many of the relationships I have made online have gone from “hellos” or “how are you” too deeper connections on a daily basis such as texts, phone calls or Skyping.

This brings to light a whole new meaning on community.  It’s a different type of community, but you are still involved in the lives of others and can stay connected without having to financially pay a price for it.  I am sure that God knew what was coming, since nothing takes him by surprise, but I never imagined a world like this.  The connections I have made are incredibly meaningful and I believe that God has been the orchestrator of them.

So what happens when you get no response from anyone, when you send out texts, leave a voice mail, try to make a connections and no one responds.  Is it even possible with our ability to connect instantly with others?  Yes, it is a possibility and it happens.  I have experienced it on numerous occasions.  Sometimes it can feel like you are being ignored, depending on where your security lies.  Instead of looking at it as no one wanting to connect with you, look at it as an opportunity to connect with God.

In this day and age, we put so many things before our relationships with God.  In fact you could go as far as calling them idols.  We spend more time using these things than we actually spend with God.  In your day, how much of your time is spent seeking God first?  If you wake up in the morning and grab your phone to check if you have texts, e-mail or what someone said on Facebook, I would venture to say maybe your priorities are not in the right place.  Maybe the first thing you can do is start the day off talking to God.  He’s there waiting and wanting to have a conversation with you.

If we are so busy using technology to connect with other, how does God fit into this picture?  What do you do with the times you have no one responding?  Are you actually able to put your phone down, walk away from the computer and allow the quiet times to come?

How much quiet time do you purposely allow into your day?  Do you spend as much time and energy in your relationship with God as you do in modern technology?  Is something needing to shift?

  1. Bob Balkcom says:

    I thank God for having you write this.
    I have been meditating on Matthew 6:33 (broader – verses 31-34) for a while now and have been wrestling with this very thing.
    Every blessing, Chris.

  2. jelillie says:

    This is really good! We used to sing a song called “Jesus on the mainline”. The trouble today is that we have so many lines going at once it’s hard to know which one is the mainline. Jesus can get easily lost in the shuffle. In today’s world “unplugging” is a new and necessary requirement for a vital Christina life. It’s the first step to real devotion.

  3. Josh says:

    Very good. I’m guilty of checking my phone first thing in the morning. While this technology can be a blessing what in the world has become of us?

  4. Barry Holcomb says:

    Very well said. I see many people who are living vicariously through their phones, facebook, etc. I worked in restaurants for over 25 years and saw it all. Once one customer came in, talking on her cell phone, and would only look at me when I tried to seat her. She stood and waited until another woman talking on a cell phone joined her. I took them to a table, where they only pointed at the menu because they would not disconnect from their phones. They sat and ate together, the entire time talking on their phones. They finished, paid for their meal, and left – having never even spoken to one another. I have seen mothers talking on the phones as they purchase groceries, completely ignoring their children who are getting into mischief, I suspect with the real motive being to force Mama to put down the phone and deal with them.

    As Christians, we should not shut ourselves off from technological advances, but we should use them to our own ends, not be used or enslaved by the monster which technology can become. Yes, we should unplug ourselves from the world-data feed lest we be overwhelmed and deluded by the world plan. Instead, we need to plug ourselves into the Master first thing each day, update our programs, and download new data and new instructions.

  5. Jim F. says:

    I make sure each day I have at least 45 minutes to an hour of quietness and no other interactions where it is just God and I. It is something I am really just cultivating but it is making a difference in my life in a positive way.

    • Paul S says:

      It seems like everytime I try this, I get bombarded with distractions and busyness that gets in the way. I’m going to make a concentrated effort to do this again.

    • Jim, that is comforting to hear and I appreciate you sharing from your own perspective. I’m trying hard to do it and make it a habit for the rest of my life.

  6. Barry H says:

    If you are a husband and/or parent, there are always tasks calling to you. Over the years the only way I have been successful in having uninterrupted devotional time is to rise before everyone else in the house – no phone calls, no music or TV, no activity to distract me from reading, praying, listening. When I worked 3rd shift, when I came home I could either stay up and see everyone off before going to bed. Or at times I would go straight to bed and sleep through that morning confusion. But when I awoke, the house was empty and I could have private time with God.

    • Barry, I am learning the same things as I get older. I am purposely getting up in the morning at 5 am to go for a walk and just enjoy the quiet times with God. It’s been beneficial and helped me to focus. It helps start my day out.

  7. Barry H says:

    I am on the cusp of publishing a book of many thoughts and meditations, and one piece confronts this topic well for the average Joe. I will provide it here. Read and share, but please do not print or distribute as it is copyrighted material.

    Inspiration Point:
    Maintaining Connection with your Power Source
    Barry Holcomb

    From time to time we all find ourselves in state of malaise, going through the motions of our lives and jobs with little sense of purpose or motivation. We get up and go to work to bring home the paycheck, to pay the bills, and go to bed to start all over again the following day. It is a pitiful existence when work and care of home and family becomes drudgery, when the light in our eyes dims and we work only to maintain the status quo.

    I don’t usually arrive in such a state overnight. It is a gradual and slow decline, a loss of excitement, a wearing down of energy, an ebbing of concern and care about myself and others. I wish I could always remain encouraged, excited, and optimistic, but I don’t think it is human nature to do so. We tend to lose our sense of purpose and must wander about and find ourselves anew from time to time.

    When I recognize that I have arrived at such a state, it takes a while to return to my Source of power and inspiration. I actually draw my strength from many small things, but I see them all as signs and manifestations of my Creator. He is my true Source of strength and hope. All my efforts are ways that I seek Him and try to communicate with Him.

    I have always been drawn to the water. When I am troubled, nothing can bring me to a quiet and relaxed state like visiting a body of water. Beside a pond, a lake, or a stream I can sit, unwind, and untangle my troubles. In the city there are plenty of fountains, but they are seldom in places suitable for quiet meditation. A natural setting is the best location for me to ponder.

    Beside a stream, a lake, a waterfall, I hear the gurgling or lapping sounds of the water. I look at the shimmering of the light striking the water and forget my everyday monotony. Rippling reflections of light and shadow speak to me of beauty; the beepers, buzzers and bells of work are far, far away. In the quiet I can focus, I can be still, and I can renew my connection with the Almighty.

    I see His hand, I hear His voice in many circumstances, but I still seek out places of simple beauty to listen. Maybe it is a slow walk down a wooded path. It might be sitting beside a stream. In the mountains of North Carolina, I can overlook miles of forests, roads, bridges and streams stretched out to the horizon. I can select a high point and watch, letting all my worries dissolve. Against this panorama, my pitiful little anxieties fade away to insignificance.

    Where do you reconnect with your power source? Is it walking down a garden path, studying the flight of bees and birds? Or is it more like my own retreat, resting and meditating by a body of water? Or is it sitting alone on a pew, thinking or reading, as you bask in the colored light falling upon you from a stained-glass window? Or maybe it is in your own backyard, sitting in an easy chair and enjoying a glass of iced tea as you watch the sun descend for his night’s repose.

    Whatever your method, whatever the place, we all need to find the time to reconnect with our Power Source, to make the journey to our personal Inspiration Point. We are not designed to work and live without meaning, automatons without feelings or purpose. If you find that you are just going through the motions, try to plan the time and place to get away, to reconnect, to refresh and renew your lifeline, to redefine your purpose.

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