And that which fell among thorns are they, which, when they have heard, go forth, and are choked with cares and riches and pleasures of this life, and bring no fruit to perfection. Luke 8:14 (KJV)
(Voice of the Persecuted) Let’s face it, life is BUSY and can be very distracting in the USA. Hectic schedules of chores, overtime, meetings, socializing and running, running, running with the kids. Whew! How do we fit it all in? Have you noticed how society has taught us it’s good parenting to have our children enrolled in every sport or activity that we can fit into their day? “How horrible they should miss out on a single opportunity!” By the time we get home, often crabby and too tired to even talk with our loved ones, we can barely make it to our beds. But society strokes our egos with, “Wow, she’s a Super Mom…he’s a Super Dad…what great parents!” We’ll get up tomorrow and put on the show again, it’s expected.
- Have you ever been annoyed to not be next in line at the cashier’s counter? “Why can’t they hire more employees?”
- To sit at the doctor’s office waiting to be seen? “My appointment was at 2pm…what’s taking so long? I don’t have time for this!“
- Stuck behind a car traveling 5 miles under the speed limit? “Get out of my way, I’ve got places to be!“
Many are finding it harder and harder to wait for anything. Not caring what trials others may be facing, it’s hard to focus on anything other than what affects our own pressed for time, little world. Not only are we busy, but we’re completely stressed out!
Bling, Bling and more Bling
Technology at our fingertips, Smartphones, tablets, internet, movies, television, youtube and yes, the bling-bling-bling. We want it all and we want it now! And we’ll pay for it not only financially, but physically, emotionally and spiritually.
But impatience is becoming most evident among our youth, who have basically been wired/connected from birth. In our efforts to keep our children happy, in line with other kids, or entertained, we’ve gone overboard gifting them with nearly everything they want. Maybe we feel guilty about the time we’ve spent away from them while at work. Maybe we want them to have more than we did growing up. But what ever the reason, we’re raising up a generation who will grow up feeling entitled and unhappy unless they’re completely entertained and even more distracted than we are today.
Have you ever seen a group of young people at a restaurant and no one is verbally communicating? Often, I’ve noticed they may be engaged and sometimes even laughing, but their focus is on their smartphone. Are they even addressing each other, or being entertained by something or someone else? These days, families in the same room will text one another rather than look up from the little square screen to have a face to face verbal conversation…it’s strange, don’t you think? No need or longing for koinonia.
I wonder what the world will offer to keep them satisfied or distracted in the future?
America, the society of instant gratification, now harbors perpetually impatient and self-absorbed individuals. We barely have the time or inclination to care about anything or anyone other than ourselves. Is it really a surprise that our nation is in it’s present condition? What about the condition of the American Church?
So busy with family, projects and various responsibilities we find it hard to devote our time to study God’s word and connect with Him on a daily basis. We haven’t forgotten and have good intentions, but have pushed Him to the back burner so we can tend to the more pressing issues of the day. We want to get back our focus, but don’t because there are other things that must be dealt with first. If you could just clear your plate, you could give God the attention He deserves. It doesn’t mean that the other things are more important, right? Dear Lord, what have we become?
If this sounds too familiar, you’re not alone. I too can relate my own past to more than one of the descriptions above. But today, you can put on the brakes, exhale and put your focus back where it needs to be…on Christ!
Father forgive us, may we never put anything before you again. May we be still enough to hear Your voice. May we make the time to seek and connect personally with You. May we give our lives not to the world, but to You. Work on us Lord, so that You can work through us. Help us to be better, responsible parents teaching our children to follow you, not the world. Wake us to repentance Lord, so that we can be filled with you. Help us to never lose our focus, draw our eyes away from worldly distractions and back on YOU. In the days to come, lead us Lord and guide us in Your perfect light. May a true revival of the American church start today! On our knees, in Jesus holy name, we pray.
For the past few years, Christians in extremely persecuted nations have told us, “We see the signs and the beginnings of persecution in America.” They fear we are too busy and so distracted by our ‘shiny objects’ (materialism), that we won’t notice it until it’s pressing hard upon us.
They worry that we have allowed ourselves to be placed exactly where Satan wants us, distracted and in the dark. And through our distractions, they believe it’s hard for many of us to truly connect with God, which is greatly needed to endure persecution. In the midst of their own suffering, they tell us, “We are praying for you and for America.”
By Lois Kanalos, VOP Founder