One of the most important things that came out of the retreat was a renewed focus on God. After spending forty hours of doing nothing other than contemplating the Lord, it's hard not to think about priorities. We watched a Rob Bell video on noise, and the thing that struck me was one of the questions he asked about what we're filling our time with.
I've been frustrated lately because I haven't had time for Bible study. I'd planned for my evenings, after everyone's in bed, to spend that time with the Lord. But I get home, and I'm so tired from everything else I have going on that the words on the page start to run together. But I'm so wired that I can't sleep. So I sit up and play computer games. I find it relaxing. Except then I never find time to spend with the Lord.
Do you see where I'm going with this?
If I say God is the most important thing in my life, why haven't I fit Him in?
The truth is, I fill my life with a lot of noise.
I started to examine a lot of the things in my life, a lot of my priorities. I had to ask myself the tough questions, like: "Does the time I spend playing computer games add to my relationship with God? Does it further the purpose He has in my life? Does it accomplish anything useful in my life?"
Now, before I get folks flaming me for attacking computer games, let me just say that I don't think there's anything wrong with them. Given the right time and place. But when I use them to fill up my "God time" that's a huge problem.
So I'm choosing to give up computer games. Not entirely. But rather than being my means to unwind, they are a reward. Something I get to do after everything else that's important, everything that adds to my life, is done. I'm giving up a lot of other things, too. Some of them I'm not able to share completely, but I do want to share one piece... the part where I'm examining and making decisions.
I keep coming back to the question... while I enjoy it, and it's something that makes me happy, how does it add to my relationship with Christ? How does it add to the ministry He's given me?
The Bible talks about being double-minded. Never in a good way. When we have so much going on, we can't help but become double-minded. Even though all the things I have in my life are good things, and certainly all have served the Lord, they don't allow me to keep my focus where it should be.
I've given myself a year... time to figure out and cut out the things that are taking away from what's really important. It means saying no to things I used to say yes to. It means disappointing people who are counting on me. It means giving up things I really enjoy. But it also means gaining precious time for the things that really matter to me.
So the question for those of you who are eagerly looking to my journey in hopes you can glean wisdom for your own is...
What's the noise you need to cut out of your life?