The Noisy Truck

The older I get, the more I can appreciate how behavior is contagious. Being positive and joyful often produces smiles and cheerfulness in those around you. Being angry and cold, reciprocates the same attitude. I've seen this play out as a husband, father, friend, youth pastor, chaplain, customer, teammate, etc. 

One of the contagious behaviors that often gets overlooked is busyness. I'm currently navigating a season in which I feel strongly that the Lord is teaching me about appropriate busyness. I've always been a busy person. I've always tried to be very intentional about redeeming my time well. However, I have often found myself in situations that make it hard to control the amount of time I have to redeem. 

"Be still, and know that I am God," Psalm 46:10 rings through my head quite a bit these days. And, before any overzealous hermeneutical all-star tries to self-righteously point out that there's more to the context of "Be still..", do know, I'm tracking. "Be still, and know that I am God," is a word of warning. God is reminding His opposition that He is sovereign, that He is the only GOD!

In light of that reminder of God's revelation, I think we ought to also take note of the fact that God is GOD. We are not. Thus, it would behoove us to be still and know that He is God. Being still takes on much more meaning than just simply slowing down and finding a quiet place to pray. Being still is about abandoning the idol of self and worshipping God only. Being still is being reminded of the fact that He is our creator and has purpose for our lives, which are often unlike our own. Being still is letting go of self and giving it all to God.

Why am I saying all of this?

I love my deck. I have a deck in my backyard that faces the woods. I can watch birds, turkey, deer, and other wildlife. I can see the wind blowing the beautiful trees. This time of year, its extra beautiful with the changing leaves. My backyard deck is a bit of sanctuary for me. I sit on my deck after morning runs. I drink my coffee. I pray. I read God's word. I plan my day. I attempt to be still by slowing down and getting on the same page with God.

Although, sometimes I get distracted. You see, while I sit on my deck, I can also hear the sound of rushing traffic lightly in the distance. While I'm trying to be still and focus, others are busy and about their day. That can be a little disturbing. Its especially disturbing when you get the noisy trucks racing up the hill of a busy road about a quarter of a mile away from my house. And yeah, sometimes its those little goofy cars that people try to paint fancy and put loud pipes on. You know, the kind of cars that try to intimidate you with their noise, but its really just a 4-cyllindar engine that sounds like a middle school kid making fart noises by pressing his lips against his pasty bicep?

Okay, I've digressed. Sarcasm is a contagious behavior too, by the way.

Point is, the traffic can be noisy and distracting. It makes me start to think about all the things that I must do. If I’m not careful, trying to embrace a few moments of peace on my deck can turn stressful. Behaviors can be contagious. 

There’s this human principle that impacts many of us. For example, you see a crowd lined up at a Farmer’s Market booth, and instead of walking to a less busy booth, you decide to go check out the one with the crowd, because you don’t want to miss out on something. Ironically, it’s often the case that we simply wind up at a busier booth with nothing unique or more interesting than the others, just because there’s a crowd. Busyness has the same contagious effect. One person’s busyness can very easily lead others to try and be busy as well. Our competitive drive and anxious hearts push us to often be busier than we need to be.

 Don’t get me wrong, being busy and working hard can be a great thing. However, if we don’t take the time to be still, we miss out on a very important spiritual lesson and mental help. I have wondered how many times my busyness keeps my family from taking the time to be still. Am I offering my family the time to be still, pray before God, mediate, recharge, and decompress from the rushing traffic of life? Am I doing the same for my co-workers and those I supervise? 

What if I'm the noisy truck?

Christians can be notorious for being too busy. We busy ourselves with things that we think are good and God-glorifying. However, when we do this, we often miss out on hearing from God. We must be hearers and doers of the Word, not just one or the other.

I just recently came from a season of ministry at West Point in which I was extremely busy. God did alot of amazing things and I got to be along for the ride, but to be honest, I was convicted that I was often being a noisy truck. I wasn't being still and demonstrating to those around me the importance of being still. 

A quiet time in the morning or at night is a good thing. However, that's not what I'm talking about in "being still". I am talking about taking significant time to listen to God every day. I'm talking about meditating and praying about how God would have you redeem your time. I am talking about not being busy just because everyone else is being busy. As Christians, we're not the blood-thirsty sharks trying to swoop in and eat all the fish. We're God's sheep.recent We need His provision, watchcare, guidance, and direction. Sheep are dumb. Sheep will make a mess of things. Sadly, the mess isn't always cute. The mess can be catastrophic.

Be still. Avoid being the noisy truck. Don't let them distract you from God's will and His timing. 

He is sovereign. We need Him. Your family needs Him.

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