I was thrilled to return to Grayling to live this summer, because it meant more time in nature. No moment spent beside the AuSable River or contemplating in the forest is ever wasted.
Recently, I was reminded of 1 Thessalonians 4:11, which says, ‘make it your ambition to live quietly and peacefully, and to mind your own affairs and work with your hands, just as we directed you.’
It is a verse which fills the reader with warm, fuzzy feelings and thoughts. Maybe you picture a quiet and peaceful life sitting along a river bank or cuddled up in a warm blanket on your favorite chair with a book in hand and next to a warm fireplace.
Then, I wondered, how did Paul picture living quietly and peacefully. What came into his mind? And what is God’s view of that today in our world?
We are so busy today. Technology keeps us so active. Some people are never without their cell phones. We might spend hours on social media at night or logged on to a movie site which can give us virtually any movie we desire. We are creating a technological paradise.
But with our technologically busy lifestyles, I wonder what we are missing. There is always a give and take to life. As adults, if we add some new activity to our lives, we usually have to give up something else.
Moving to Grayling required my family to box up twenty-four years worth of stuff we had acquired. Before then, I had not thought of myself as being materialistic. Packing up our lives however proved me wrong.
There were varieties of VCRs and DVD players sitting in the attic collecting dust. The plan had been to recycle them, but I never quite got around to it. Then there were all the projects I started but never finished down in the basement. They were exciting to me for a while, until the next hot project came along. And don’t get me started about our collection of books scattered throughout multiple rooms!
So, what do these observations have to do with a quiet and peaceful life? Books aren’t loud. The volume on the TV can be turned down. Even projects can be quiet.
When God talks about quiet time in the Bible, He is referring to times of contemplation about life and times reading His Word, so we can come to know Him better.
Looking back on my life, the loudness came from busyness and all the objects waiting to be worked on. That is what kept me from hearing what God wanted me to hear in years past. It was a spiritual quietness which was lacking. Today it is far too easy to press a button and be led off elsewhere, pushing God to the side.
Yet, it is only through reading the Bible we can grow closer to God. That is how He speaks to believers. It is through His Word He transforms us into who we were meant to be.
Often times now, I need to just walk away from the cell phone, turn off the computer and other devices, and take time to read the Words of God. It’s my responsibility as a believer to strengthen my relationship with Him. This only happens when I create some quiet and peaceful time to spend with Him. There will always be some piece of technology calling loudly for my attention. Time enough for that later. Or maybe not.
Kurt J. Kolka is a graduate of two Christian colleges ‘ Concordia University in Ann Arbor and Anderson University in Indiana ‘ where he studied both Bible and theology, as well as journalism. Contact him regarding this column at email@example.com.
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