We moved to Myrtle Beach, SC in January. When we were looking we were surprised to see 8 TVs mounted on walls and sitting on stands all through the house. Pandora and I laughed when we saw that even on the screened back porch with a view of the beautiful sky and trees there was a wall mounted TV.
Now the sellers took the TVs with them and we are back to a more limited presence of screens but actually, if you count our phones, tablets, computers and TV, we too can easily have a screen between us and God and others.
In a recent article by John Eldredge he wisely cautions on how soul care will always be counter cultural.
The ongoing deluge of intriguing facts and commentary, scandal and crisis, genuinely important guidance, combined with the latest insider news from across the globe, and our friends’ personal lives, gives the soul a medicated feeling of awareness, connection, and meaning. Really, it’s the new Tower of Babel—the immediate access to every form of “knowledge” and “groundbreaking” information right there on our phones, every waking moment. It confuses the soul into a state of artificial meaning and purpose, all the while preventing genuine soul care and life with God. Life with God…period. Who has time to read a book? Plant a garden?
Let me say it again, because it is so counter to the social air we breathe: What has become the normal daily consumption of input is numbing the soul with artificial meaning and purpose while in fact the soul grows thinner and thinner through neglect, forced by the very madness that passes for a progressive life.
Sincere followers of Jesus in every age have faced very difficult decisions—usually at that point of tension where their life with and for God ran them straight against the prevailing cultural ethos. The new Tower of Babel is ours. We have always been “strangers and aliens” in the world, insofar as our values seemed so strange and bizarre to those around us. We are now faced with a series of decisions that are going to make us look like freaks to the world. Choices like turning off Facebook every other day (or perhaps completely), never bringing our smart phones to any meal, conversation or Bible study, and cutting off our media intake so we can practice stillness every day.
If we offer anything of value to you here at Ransomed Heart, we offer care for the soul. And so for the sake of sanity and mercy I am going to ask a few questions…
What are you going to do this year to save your soul from the madness that passes as “normal life?”
How will you cultivate a life of beauty, goodness, and depth of soul?
How will you send your roots deep down into the soil of God?
One answer to John’s questions is to live the moments of each day FULLY PRESENT.
For the last few years I have made the first day lecture in all of my classes and workshop on the importance of being FULLY PRESENT. Our God is fully present with us and to be in his image we will be fully present. One can only love when you are fully present.
To be fully present is to see and listen — to absorb the moment God has placed us in. To be fully present is to eat slowly and savor moments we have with others. To be fully present is to enter into the other person’s life and empathize with them. To be fully present we nourish our soul with silence, stillness and tune the eyes to see God’s handiwork and tune our ears to the whispers of God’s Spirit.
Fasting is an essential discipline to mix with simplicity and silence so we may position our heart to not be overwhelmed by the noise of this world.
What is God teaching you about nourishing life instead of being numbed to life?