As I drive around town, I see many people who aren’t paying attention to the world around them. Some can’t hear a friend calling out to them because they’re using earbuds and an iPhone. Others are at the dinner table, scrolling through the Facebook News Feed on their tablet.
And as I’m driving down the road here in rural Maine, I notice that least 1 in 20 of the other drivers have their eyes looking down… at their cellphones… as they drive.
This new life attached to phones doesn’t appeal to me very much. My language work largely involves working with computers. So I turn everything off at the end of the day and try to talk to real people or read a book.
However, the challenge for me is to stop working! My cause is noble, and there always seems to be work waiting on my computer’s desktop. The computer allows us to work efficiently and I find it difficult to pull away from it and pay attention to my family as I should.
How often has God tried to get my attention, and I was too busy to listen?
Last week, God had something very important He needed to show me. And He knew just how to get my attention.
Like half a million other people in Maine last week, we lost our power. A devastating windstorm blew through the state, and many trees were destroyed. Roads were blocked, and the essentials of American life (water, electricity and the internet) were lost.
Until the power came back on, our family’s daily routine was interrupted as we spent the day taking care of the basics. I never realized how much my work depends on having electricity and the internet!
Eventually, Sharon’s workplace got power before we did, so she and the girls were able to camp out there until power was restored. However, someone had to stay at home to let the family know if the power came back on. And that someone, was me.
After I prepared a few MicroBibles for delivery, I had nothing to do but wait for the power to come back on.
God Gets my Attention
And as I did, God used this interruption to my routine to get my attention. He spoke to me, giving me counsel about an answer to a prayer I have asked Him about for a long time.
Over the past year, America has been devastated by widespread floods, hurricanes, and wildfires. Does it seem to you as if God is trying to tell us something?
After He got my attention through the windstorm, here is what I think He is trying to say: He is using these interruptions to show us what’s most important in life, and encouraging us to give higher priority to what matters most.
Thankfully, our power and internet don’t always need to be shut off for God to speak to us! We as humans aren’t meant to spend 6-11 hours a day in front of screens, for work and play. Rather, we should regularly turn off all of our electronic devices, on our own. With the new free time this gives us, we have more time to pray, rest, read and laugh together.
Like David Wilkerson.
David Wilkerson’s Story
In 1958, David Wilkerson felt like the LORD was calling him to sell his television set. He was spending two hours a night watching the late-night shows of the day. He put an ad in the local newspaper. Then, to be sure whether God was asking Him to sell it, He asked for a sign:
“Jesus, I need help deciding this thing, so here is what I am asking of You. If it is You behind this idea of selling my television, let a buyer appear within a half an hour after the paper gets on the streets.”
And that’s exactly what happened! Exactly 29 minutes after the paper hit the streets, a man called and offered to pick up his television set, even though he was asking $100. A hundred dollars in 1958 bought as much as $850 does today!
Then, Pastor David began spending the two hours he normally spent watching TV, seeking God… And that’s how Teen Challenge started. As a result of one man hearing from God, millions have obtained freedom from drug addiction through this ministry.
What self-imposed limits are you putting on the distractions in your life, so that God can get your attention? Please let us know by leaving a comment below: