Today marks the end of my week of Introvert Intermission. It has been an amazing, life-giving, soul-tending week. I am beyond grateful for this gift and for the reminder that slowing down is absolutley vital to living well. Whether you slow down alone or slow down with others, we all need to earnestly protect some down time in our week.
Even though I had an entire week of voluntary solitary confinement, I still struggled to just rest in God. It was a daily battle. I could hear God beckoning me to spend time with Him, to truly rest with Him and I would fight it. I would busy myself with reading ministry books or fiction books, working out, engaging social media, watching Season 2 of 24. Don’t get me wrong. There is absolutely nothing wrong with these things in and of themselves. The problem was in my use of them as distractors from resting in God. It was a chase each day and some days I was successful in avoiding God – which really means I lost.
It doesn’t matter how busy we are or if we have a day wide open. If we don’t want to walk with God, we will find a way to avoid Him and drown out His voice.
Why would anyone not want to spend time with the One who loves him or her most? You would think that we would have to be dragged away from time with God just like new lovers who can’t get enough of each other.
First, perhaps we don’t truly understand how much God love us. When you grow up hearing about how great God’s love is for you, it is really easy to take it for granted – much like we do an earthly parent’s or grandparent’s love. I see this often in working with teenagers. They have these ginormious champions on their side who love them deeply and would do anything for them. These champions are their parents and grandparents. Yet, the teens don’t really understand the depth and power of that love. They have a head knowledge of that love but their heart knowledge is severly underdeveloped. Many of us are spiritual adolescents – ready to do our thing and be independent of God. Just give us our blessing, God, and let us go.
Second, I think we avoid being still before God because we don’t want to hear what God has to say. Have you ever avoided a conversation with someone because you know it isn’t going to be a good one? Either they rightfully need to call you out on something or they are going to ask you to do something you really don’t want to do. So, we duck into side hallways when we see them coming or block their phone calls or texts in hopes that maybe they’ll just forget or drop it. Sometimes it works. More often, it only makes things worse. I think God does both. I think sometimes God doggedly stays on us with things until we submit. And other times, I think God gives us what we ask for and then we miss out.
This week, I’ve been trying to shake God because I’m not sure I want to hear what He has to say. We have some things to work on together – our usual wrestling for control. It has taken most of the week but He finally broke through my barriers and turned my face towards Him. I’m not one who likes to lose but it doesn’t take me long after getting pinned by God to realize that to lose to Him is really my gain.
Are you avoiding God? Why?