2010-03-25 / Church

Minister’s Message

How Can One Hear From God?
By Rev. Linda O’Neal of Lexington and Blue United Methodist Churches

As I write this, we are in the middle of Spring Break. One day it just poured down rain. I told someone I felt sorry for the kids but that person just laughed at me. She said the kids have so many electronic games they like to play inside.

Naturally I read a lot of devotional materials and religious writings. There has been a trend in the past year or so, especially in devotional materials. People are being encouraged to go outside and commune with God through experiencing nature. That was not talked about so much in years past. It is a common theme these days. It seems that people are more and more likely to just stay inside being entertained by electronic media. One writer suggested instead of giving up some favorite food for Lent, people should choose to have a “screen Sabbath.” That means choosing to spend one’s day of rest with NO screens – no TV, no computer, no movies, no iPods, no Blackberries, no texting, etc. The writer said it is hard to hear the “still, small voice” (1 Kings 19:12) of God when one is surrounded by electronic media.

That was the most challenging good idea I had heard in a long time. I am not guilty of any spectacular sinning, but I do neglect to just spend enough time with God. I am so busy working for Him (at least that’s my lame excuse) that I do not spend enough time just hanging out with Him. The truth is that spending time with God is indeed transforming, especially that quiet time in nature. I imagine most people are like me, afraid of change. Yet that is what God really wants from us: willingness to change. I wonder how busy everyone will be during Spring Break? There is a saying: “If you are too busy for God, you are too busy.” I confess, I have been too busy. I will try to have a day away from screens during Spring Break. It is going to be really hard, but I bet it will be really worth while.

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