Monday, June 17, 2013

Where Is God in all the Noise?

This was originally posted on a blog that is no longer accessible so I am posting it here.

In Bruce Main’s book If Jesus Were a Sophomore (which I highly, highly recommend for anyone, regardless of age), chapter two begins with “Making Space for God”.  Main asks the staff who worked for him “How would you make more space for God in your day-to-day life?”  He then relates the two very different responses from two very different young women.  Claire, who he said was a “collegian from a fairly conservative evangelical church in the Midwest” said “that to make space in her life for God, she would need to disengage from activity and find more solitude” (p. 27).  Lucy, a college student from Seattle, had a different idea.  She said “Making space means trying to see more of God in my daily activity.  In the complexity, hecticness, and confusion of each day, I want to see God’s Spirit at work” (p. 28).

While I don’t think these responses need to be an either/or situation, I think many of us are most familiar with finding God in the quiet times.  We know of Elijah hearing God in the silence in 1 Kings 19 or the many, many times that Jesus goes off by himself to pray.  And yes, those times are needed.  But for many of us, especially if we have children, those quiet times are very difficult to come by.  Some people may be great at getting up early, before the kids wake up, in order to have “quiet time”.  Not so for me.  I am not a morning person and never have been.  Then, by the time the kids are in bed at night, often, all I want to do is go to sleep as well. 

I think that when we separate out specific time for God, we can forget that God is everywhere, in everything.  I love this quotation by Abraham Kuyper with which I’ve recently heard multiple times:

“there is not a square inch in the whole domain of our human existence over which Christ, who is Sovereign over all, does not cry: 'Mine!'”

We should seek to see God’s presence in all that we do, and not just have him be one thing we mark off on a checklist of things to do each day. 

Rather than making a priority list like this:

1. Quiet time with God
2. Take the kids to school
3. Go to work
4. Help kids with homework
5. Make dinner

we should have one like this:

1. Quiet time with God
2. Take the kids to school with God
3. Go to work with God
4. Help kids with homework with God
5. Make dinner with God

and so on. 

While Jesus did indeed spend time by himself praying, he did so much more.  He was there in the noise of his birth.  He was there in the noise of the visiting magi.  He was there in the noise of John the Baptist’s preaching.  He was there in the noise of calling the fishermen and teaching and healing the crowds and the arguing between his disciples.  He was there in the noise of his arrest and his trial.  He was there in the noise as the crowds shouted “Crucify, crucify him” (Luke 23:21). 

So where is God in the noisy times?  When the water is boiling over on the stove and the other pot is starting to smoke and the smoke detector goes off and the kids are screaming and you’re fighting with your spouse and the television is too loud and your head hurts and life seems chaotic?

He is there.  He will always be there. 

Jesus is there in those everyday, boring, noisy moments of life.  He is there when you need healing.  He is there when you need a friend.  He is there when you don’t know where you are headed but all you know is that you want to follow him with all of your heart and with all of your soul and with all of your mind and with all of your life.  He is there when you are not sure what he means or what he is about and you are only thinking of following him.  He is there for you, for me, for your noisy neighbors that get on your nerves. 

He is there. 

1 comment:

Sue said...

Well written. I just this morning read "Finding Peace in the Noise," written by a Buddhist monk which said the same thing!h