Your time - taken or given

May 10, 2022


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Hidden        Time 

By Benedicte Mella

For all of us living in this hour, our hours have become the most valuable goods.

The biggest companies are trying hard to compete for your attention, to make you spend your time on them. That’s how they gain money.

Time is also the best thing we have to give to people, and our time can be given to God.

To build the life we want to have, to become the people we are meant to be, it is crucial for us to spend our time with a clear purpose.

In seasons, I find it almost impossible to spend intentional, focused time on Jesus, the Bible, or quietness, without fighting a battle of dimensions. Not just a battle with everything else I could have been doing in that moment, but an internal battle with my brain, which keeps telling me to check on my phone! It’s always right there, available, in my pocket or on the table – just next to the Bible.

The greatest of us make moves. We set up boundaries for ourselves and our use of the screens. We know that our brains have become addicted to the stimuli the creators of all the apps on our screens are consciously taking advantage of to earn money. We try to be conscious. But we take notice that when we have been in quietness for a little while, read some Bible, our hand does go off on it’s own initiative to press that round button. Just check the notifications. Pulses go up. In the back of our heads something pops up, a reminder of something important that could be coming in just now. I am just going to check, quickly. Then I will get back to focus. Before I know it, I’ve been down a long wall of pictures and impressions, bringing with it emotions and processing, which I had not planned for, and even less benefited from. It brought me away from the place I was in. What I was thinking. This even happens when I am in the presence of The Highest God!

Hearts that want to burn for God are completely dependent on spending time with Him. It’s His breath that ignites the embers, and gives life to the flame. We don’t need it to be able to cross off our “good Christian” – list, or to make God pleased. Being with Him is the very oxygen of our internal beings. Even so, even though we are created to be with Him, as long as we are in this world and not in the Garden, it won’t be easy. It is a costly choice to live with hearts that are burning for Jesus in this world. It demands priorities and has real consequences for those who want it. But it is possible. It is available. It is free, and at the same time costly for those who want and must have it.

I realize that I actually will have to consider of I can achieve what I really want, with my phone in my hand. Or on the table. Consider if it is possible to get deep with Jesus, to follow Him where He wants to lead me in prayer, while at the same time I gaze sideways towards an endless stream of notifications in which none of them pull me in that same direction.

Can we manage this balance? Is it possible to combine, or do we really need to make some more specific choices?

The restlessness. The desire to be entertained. The unrest if there is nothing in front of us to look at. Something to quickly digest. At worst we might miss out one Someone who is sitting very close, but who will not put himself on display and run us over with impressions without us asking Him for it.

He is inviting us carefully, and awaiting our response.

The creator of the Universe, with all possible insight. With the actual agenda for the development of the history and future of the world. More beautiful and more satisfying to behold than anything created on a screen. He is able to meet us in our innermost being like nothing else that we try to fill ourselves with. He is the One who created us for Himself, and we know, yes, we know, that it’s true – that He is the answer. But do we still need to learn to believe it? To let Him show us that He really is – in real life. In our very real lives. In this living room, do I put away all substitutes and look until I find Him? He isn’t hard to ask. It is easy to come to Him. But He is all-consuming. So it can’t be done at the same time as anything else. It isn’t best done with the phone in your hand.