Ponderings for November 15 2018

So we were talking in our men’s breakfast study this morning about fasting and being quiet before God. And about how difficult it is to do these things in our plugged-in, noisy, always-something-happening world.
 
And about how, despite how crazy the world is and how something is always vying for our attention, we still need to “be still and know” he is God and who we are…
 
Do you ever feel like you have so much going on you don’t have time for what’s really important? Deadlines to meet, decisions to make, people to see, places to run…
 
“Be still and know…”
 
Or how about this convicting verse of Scripture: “This one thing I do…”
 
ONE thing!?! How about these 37 things I dabble in and don’t do any of them very well! And still, the Lord is right there, saying, “Be still and know that I am God.”
 
It reminds of the movie City Slickers. Remember that one? Billy Crystal plays a hard-charging professional who sees life passing him by. No time to do the important things. Then there’s crusty old Jack. Jack is the experienced and wise cowboy who asks the Crystal if he would like to know the secret of life. Uh, yes! “It’s this,” Jack says, holding up one finger (I love this line). “The secret to life is your finger?” Crystal asks. “No, it’s one thing. The secret of life is pursuing one thing,” Jack emphatically states. “So what is that one thing?” Crystal asks eagerly. “You have to find it yourself,” Jack wisely replies.
 
That is what being still does for us. It enables us to clear out the clutter and allow the Spirit of God to clarify the “one thing.”
 
Greg McKeown has written a book called Essentialism (The Disciplined Pursuit of Less). His brief summary makes his case: “The Way of the Essentialist involves doing less, but better, so you can make the highest possible contribution.” McKeown writes to encourage us to pursue the one thing, the essential thing. Here’s how he closes his book:
 
“Once you become an Essentialist, you will find that you aren’t like everybody else: when other people are saying yes, you will find yourself saying no; when other people are doing, you will find yourself thinking; when other people are speaking, you will find yourself thinking; when other people are in the spotlight, vying for attention, you will find yourself waiting on the sidelines until it is time to shine; while other people are padding their resumes and building out their LinkedIn profiles, you will be building a career of meaning; while other people are complaining (read: bragging) about how busy they are, you will just be smiling sympathetically, unable to relate; while other people are living a life of stress and chaos, you will be living a life of impact and fulfillment.
 
“In many ways, to live as an Essentialist in our too-many-things-all-the-time society is an act of quiet revolution.”
 
As followers of the One who said “be still”; as a body of Christian people seeking to love Lake County and be a light in a dark community; as people about to enter a hectic, commercially overloaded season, I say—let’s join that revolution!
 
See you around the corner,
Pastor Paul