There I was sitting, starring, at my computer screen. It was the end of the school year, and for a teacher that only meant getting done with all the paper work to show how successful this year had been. I sat there, hour after hour, my fingers moving at light speed, my brain racked with different possibilities, my eyes bloodshot from looking at all the blue light.
I knew somewhere in the back of my mind, I really needed to stop playing solitaire and start working on what needed to get done, but there was just something about it. The mind numbing state I entered as I didn’t have to think about test scores, or grades, I just had to sit there listen to music and let my mind take a break.
The only bad part is, my mind had been on break for more than just my lunch time at this point. Yes, the students had all started summer, and if I wanted a chance to start my summer, I really needed to buckle down and get working. So I closed the game, got my mind right, and then looked into the lower left corner of my computer screen and saw the icon I had been searching for. It was black and green, and in big bold letters said HULU. I new if I could just watch one episode, just make me laugh for 22 minutes, then I could concentrate on getting my work done.
For most of us, this is how we live life. We go from one escape to the other. Making every excuse to justify why we do this. I know I am not alone in this, I know I am not the only person who puts off the necessary to concentrate on the fleeting. We say things like, “I am just so stressed”, or “I work better under pressure”. However, the truth of the matter is this, I want to be distracted, I want to slack off, I want to do what I want to do.
Now, before we get too far into this, downtime is a good thing. In fact in scripture it tells us, “Six days you shall labor, and do all your work, but the seventh day is a Sabbath to the Lord your God. On it you shall not do any work, you, or your son, or your daughter, your male servant, or your female servant, or your livestock, or the sojourner who is within your gates.” (Exodus 20:9-10)
However, what I am talking about here isn’t rest to recharge for the next week, what I am talking about here is our desire to be distracted and entertained. If we really want to see the work of the enemy, we do not have to look for the outright sinful, we can look to comfort and distraction. If I can make you comfy, I don’t have to trick you into staying. To quote God’s Not Dead, “sometimes the worst prisons are the most comfortable”.
Jesus warns us about this in Luke 12:35-40, “Blessed are those servants whom the master finds awake when he comes. Truly, I say to you, he will dress himself for service and have them recline at table, and he will come and serve them.”
Jesus warns us to stay awake, to remain diligent, to be ready! That is because we love to be distracted. We love to get wrapped up in things that really do not matter. We love to be entertained, to relax, to just unplug for a little bit. Because we do not want to deal with the things of life. The “crying babies”, the “nagging wife”, the “dimwitted husband”. We want to escape our reality, because we know somewhere in our souls, this is not how it should be.
Sin infected all areas of our lives, and we want to escape its effects. We want to be able to enter into rest, we want to be able to see Christ in all we do. When we do not have this rest, our brains just want to escape, the problem with this is, time does not wait.
Time keeps marching forward. The things you “meant to” do yesterday have now become the “must do” today. Before we know it we stand at the foot of this enormous mountain looking at tasks that should have been done weeks ago. As we gaze further and further up the mountain we feel pressed down more and more. This causes us to want to escape even more. So we act like the mountain isn’t there, we just focus on the beautiful trees surrounding it, or we turn and look at the sea behind us.
Then a boulder breaks free. These things we have been putting off to watch yet another season of a show we have seen 5 times, comes hurdling down out us. We jump to the left, we dodge but more and more break off as we cannot catch back up to where we need to be.
This is what wasting our time and lives build. Anxiety and stress. Now we spend all our time dodging the brokenness of things that should have been completed and this forces more stress, more anxious feelings. Until….
We realize the fog we have been walking in. We climb to the top of the mountain and start safely chipping away at it. Maybe this means calling family or friends to help us. Maybe it means extra tutoring or study hall. Whatever it takes, the more we get done, the closer to the ground we get. The closer to the ground we get the easier it is for us to breath, to rest.
Then one day, we notice this mountain has shrunk to some pebbles. It is at this point we have to remain diligent, remain awake, remain working 6 and resting one, because at any time those pebbles can start to form a boulder, which can start to grow into a mountain.
Jesus tells us to love others the way we love ourselves (Matthew 22:37-40). Maybe you are reading this and standing by your pebbles watching someone dodging falling rocks. Go over and help twiddle down their mountain. Maybe you are sitting there at the base of your mountain, looking around and see someone, ask for help.
Whatever we do, do not keep wasting your life. Do not fall for the trap of comfort. Stay awake, and you will hear “well done good and faithful servant, you may now enter into my rest”!!!