Put Lots Of Things On The Table

One time as a young boy, my dad sat down at the family dinner table to eat. For some reason, the rest of the family had to do other things and young Bill was left by himself. In this lonely moment, young Bill said, “Put lots of things on the table.” In his mind, being alone to eat was much more palatable if he was surrounded by stuff. If there were items surrounding him, he wouldn’t feel all by himself. If he had immediate distractions and things surrounding him his moment of uncomfortableness wouldn’t be so bad.

This story came to mind as I thought about my own, and our societies, complete distaste for solitude, silence, and limited distractions. Like Young Bill, we want to fill our lives with so much stuff so we don’t have to face boredom or the limits of our own self. 

Instead of filling our lives with more stuff, more distractions, and more diversions, what if we instead filled it with God? When was the last time you simply sat with God and lingered there – no phone, no buzz or tings, and no need to rush off to the next activity? God doesn’t like to compete with our attention and desires for us to turn to him by our own choice, not when we are forced to. 

Photo by Dina Nasyrova on Pexels.com

Our society is completely losing the skill of being bored, of quiet reflection, and of stillness. I am guilty as anyone. There are moments that I feel like I can’t put my phone down for more than 30 seconds or that I am going to jump out of my skin due to boredom.

God knows we are prone to choose anything rather than sit with him or our thoughts. That is why he establishes spiritual disciplines such as Sabbath so we can put aside our work and busyness in order to pray and play. In addition, we are called to follow Jesus’ example and go to a solitary place to be alone with God. This is where we find contentment, direction, repentance, and inspiration. Our digital distractions and our tendency to crowd our lives with things does not bring us what we are truly looking for – joy and peace.

As crazy as the holiday season may be, fight the urge to attach yourself to activity, stimulus, and colorful distractions. Instead, sit with your thoughts, listen to God, eliminate hurry and material things and know that God is God and he is seeking you. Do we have too much around us to notice?

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