Our theme for this month: “Change can be good for you”
Our Bible verse for today: “But we encourage you, brothers and sisters, to do this even more, to seek to lead a quiet life, to mind your own business, and to work with your own hands, as we commanded you, so that you may behave properly in the presence of outsiders and not be dependent on anyone.” 1 Thessalonians 4:10-12 (CSB)
Our thought for today: “There’s a lot to be said for a simple, quiet life.”
All this month we’ve been considering how it is that this time of social distancing and isolation could potentially result in some good changes in our individual lives, and perhaps even in our nation. The pandemic and all of the associated turmoil is not a good thing, but perhaps some good things can come out of it.
I’ve also noted that one of the biggest problems we face, one that is often subtle and insidious, is the busyness that tends to characterize many of our lives. I shared with you the observation from philosopher and professor Byung-Chul Han from his little book “The Burnout Society” when he commented about western society in general, “They are too alive to die but too dead to live.”
For us Christians all the busyness, and a life filled with too many competing demands and constant distractions, results in superficiality in our relationship with God. As Richard Foster wrote, “Superficiality is the curse of our age.” Yes, I think that’s true. We allow ourselves to become so busy with other things that we don’t set aside the time to go deep with God.
What a loss! The things we could experience with God but don’t, simply because we thought we were too busy and therefore didn’t make the time! This is what author Jim Peterson was referring to when he wrote, “One of the greatest gifts God has given us is the infinite opportunity for spiritual growth. But however much we have matured, there is always more beyond. It is in this that we find the adventure of living. There will always be new, unexplored dimensions of His person beckoning to us. The possibilities go off the chart.”
But we must be living the kind of life that provides us the time and space to do that. This is the reason that in 1 Thessalonians 4:10-12 the Apostle Paul urged his readers to consider carefully the value and benefits of a quiet and simple life. It has often and accurately been said that if the devil can’t make you bad, he will make you busy. Even if he can’t get you to do bad things, if he can get you to be so busy and so distracted that you neglect God, he’s happy.
If this time of isolation and social distancing results in us slowing down, simplifying, and making more room for God in our lives, then something very good will have come out of something very bad.