- Do you warm a pop-tart in the microwave instead of the toaster?
- Do you use your hands to wash with shower gel instead of a scrunchie?
- Do you watch less than 5 seconds of any TV channel before surfing to the next?
And finally…here’s the kicker…
- Do you open your email, with the intention of checking for new messages, and come out hours later having read blogs, caught up on Facebook, and searched a myriad of topics on Google?
The slavery of Now sucks our brains into half-awareness at any given event. If we’re never fully in the moment, we give everything Now status, meaning nothing has all of us anytime. It’s the tyranny of the urgent on steroids.
The Road to Good Intentions
I believe the saying goes, “The road to hell is paved with good intentions.” When the first dishwasher was unveiled at the Chicago World’s Fair in 1893, every woman thought, I’ll save hours in my day by using that thing! But the reality with the dishwasher—as with most technological advances—is that the time we save by using machines, we fill up with more tasks.
And these days every task vies for Now.
My cell phone is the most notable culprit. I don’t go anywhere without it, and I seldom go an hour during my day without checking it. Is that inherently wrong? I don’t think so. Here’s why…
We all know that God uses our life circumstances to teach us the most powerful lessons.
Bear with me as I tell you a story…
Several years ago, I had one of those “ah-hah” moments with God about His love for me.
I had always been terrified that I loved my family too much. I couldn’t say I loved God more than my husband or children, so I feared God—the wrathful Judge—would take them from me (bad theology, I know). One night, while on a personal spiritual retreat, I was walking back from a meaningful quiet time with the Lord on a cold fall night, and I was in deep and silent communion with Him. While praising Him for His love and protection, the realization dawned that He’d given me this amazing love for my family so I’d understand how to love Him and how He loved me. God wasn’t jealous of my love for family. On the contrary. It was something He’d purposely cultivated within me in order to illustrate the kind of love He wanted from me and felt for me.
Here’s where I land the plane…
Could our cell-phone lives be teaching us a similar lesson? Has God cultivated this new constant-contact culture to illustrate the kind of Now communion He wants us to experience with Him?
- What if I never left home without the conscious thought that I have Him with me?
- What if I checked in with Jesus as often as I checked my phone?
- What if I had to remember to “recharge” in quiet communion with God like I must recharge my phone battery? I can’t let my Power Source fail, right?
- What if I felt the same kind of panic when I lost contact with my Creator that I feel when I can’t find my phone? How many times have I said, “My life is on that phone”?
I don’t need to feel guilty about having a Smartphone any more than I should feel guilty about loving my family—not if I let it be a lesson that drives me closer to the heart of God.
Living as God’s Slave
“Live as free people, but do not use your freedom as a cover-up for evil; live as God’s slaves.” 1 Peter 2:16
The concept of being a slave to anything rubs most people—especially Americans—the wrong way. We might serve if we have the choice, but we downright chafe at the thought of submitting as a slave, owned and dominated by another.
But why wouldn’t I want to submit to a loving Heavenly Father who wants only my best?
I’ll tell you why…because He’s more interested in my ETERNAL best than my happiness Now.
I’ve discovered (the hard way) that being a slave to Now is in direct conflict with my voluntary servitude to Christ Jesus.
God’s Gracious Training
Perhaps the human penchant toward Now is the reason God gives us so many “opportunities” to exercise patience. What do you think? Maybe our obsession with Now is why:
- Patient/patience is mentioned 44 times in the NIV
- Abraham was 100 years old when his firstborn son Isaac was born.
- Moses was 80 years old when he led the Israelites out of Egypt (and then wandered for 40 years in the desert).
- David waited 15-20 years after he was anointed king to actually sit on the throne of Israel.
Yes, when I’m God’s slave, patience is a daily chore, and Now must step aside for eternal values. When I’m God’s slave, I’m not in charge. God is. But there’s incredible freedom in those holy handcuffs. When I truly give up control to my Master, believing He is both powerful enough to work and good enough to act, I can live in peaceful surrender.
- If we’re never fully in the moment, we give everything NOW status, meaning nothing has all of us.
- Being a slave to NOW is in direct conflict with my voluntary servitude to Christ Jesus.
- When I’m God’s slave, patience is a daily chore, and NOW must step aside for eternal values.
- Is there something Now that holds you captive? What practical steps can you take to “change ownership” and give yourself willingly to God as His slave—with an eternal perspective on your life and goals?