As we start the New Year, I was reminded this week about something that is very critical for all of us in this day and age. I have been blessed to spend these last couple of weeks home with the family to enjoy the Christmas and New Years holidays and some good down time from work and between semesters in my counseling studies. What I was reminded of is the need to unplug from the matrix. The need to slow down, be still, and spend time away from the chaos and noise of this world and what often encompasses our lives.
I was listening to a recording from Ransomed Heart Ministries the other day called “The Spirit of the Age.” John Eldredge talked about how each age, each period of time is defined by something. The spirit of this age we live in now, of this world, as John says, is drivenness or busyness. We are in a world of now, now, now…go, go, go. We are constantly plugged into social media and the news. We spend our days trying to fill time with things to keep going. We always feel like we have to multitask everything. Multitasking by the way, is the ultimate myth. You cannot be fully present in any situation at any time to two or more people or tasks. As the Christian musician Propaganda says, when multitasking, “You ain’t doing anything good, just everything awful.” Lot’s of truth here.
We live in a very driven world. We are always on the go. I’ve been guilty of everything I’ve listed and more. I have grown to believe that this driven nature. This need to always stay busy is soul killing. It is pulling us away from the priorities in life. Not just in our families but also in our walk with God. In our ability to have a real conversational relationship with the Father. In our ability to really dive into His Word and study and get to know all that God has revealed to us.
Why do we always feel like we have to be so busy? Why are we so driven to go, go, go? Why can’t we unplug from the matrix? Why can’t we put our phones down and just be present? I believe it’s a scheme of the enemy. He uses this need for busyness to keep us distracted. Then when everyone else is always going, we feel like we have to do more and more to keep up. It’s soul killing and it’s just what the enemy wants.
Look, I’m not saying it’s bad to be busy, but what I’m saying is that when it runs your life, and this day and age it does, with so much noise all around, that becomes a problem. Like I said, this is something I’ve been guilty of. I’ve been out at a restaurant with Amber and often times I have my work phone and my personal phone sitting right there. How many of of you do the same? It’s called a lunch break for reason, yet we never fully take a real break away.
I look at the life of Jesus when I think of this. Jesus constantly had crowds following Him. People wanted to be healed and have demons cast away. Jesus could easily have just spent his time healing non-stop, but He didn’t. Look at Mark 1. Jesus heals Peter’s mom and then more and more people come for healing.
In verse 35, Jesus did something many of us don’t do. It says, “In the early morning, while it was still dark, Jesus got up, left the house, and went away to a secluded place, and was praying there.” Jesus left to be alone. To be in solitude and pray. Peter and the others find Jesus and tell Him everyone is looking for Him.
Now at this point, Jesus could have done what many of us do. Do what others expect us to do. Do what the world wants us to do. Stay plugged in and keep busy. Not Jesus. You see He did not conform to this world and showed us that we don’t have to. In verse 38, Jesus says, “Let us go somewhere else to the towns nearby, so that I may preach there also; for that is what I came for.” Jesus left. He was not going to let the demands of others control what He was doing or deter Him from what the Father sent Him for.
You see, busyness and constantly doing what the world expects will drain us completely. It will take us away from what really matters in life. This culture we live in will suck the life out of us if we allow ourselves to let the world consume us.
Paul tells us in Romans 12:2, “do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, so that you may prove what the will of God is, that which is good and acceptable and perfect.” This is so important. We cannot live a life driven and controlled by the demands of this world. Part of coming to faith in Christ is allowing our hearts and minds to be transformed. We need to be renewed daily, as well, so there is a real need to find time away from the busyness of this life to just be present with God.
Just think about this as you start the New Year. Think about the priorities of your life. It is so vital that we find time to unplug from the matrix. It is also vital to understand that you do not have to maintain the crazy pace the everyone else thinks you need to. Slow down and live. Be still and find time to be with God. Find time to be completely unplugged. Find time to converse with God daily. Find time to be fully present with your family. Don’t be conformed to this world and don’t let busyness kill your soul. You will miss so much if you stay plugged in and let the busyness run your life.