No matter how you fill your days, I think most of us will agree that we are busy, right? What are we busy doing? I have pondered this in a previous post. Today I ask, what are we too busy for? What is it that keeps us busy and distracted? Are we occupying our time with activities that draw us closer to God? Or do they draw us away from God?
I believe that Satan wants us to be busy and distracted. If your activities don’t draw you closer to God, well then, they draw you closer to Satan.
Some may dislike the above statement. It’s to bold and too absolute. I propose you read on, to understand my take on this.
While working on my novel I found myself explaining how the futuristic world I have created came to be. It’s a world where all that is noble, virtuous and beautiful has been drowned out and replaced with selfishness, oppression and indifference. I had to ask myself, how did this come to be? In doing so, I realized a truth about the world as it is today.
Many of us live our lives in a conundrum of busyness. We are busy working, studying, updating our status on Facebook or Twitter, and sharing pictures on Instagram. We are keeping up to date on the latest television shows, or catching up with old shows on Netflix, We are watching movies, old and new or even YouTube videos or playing games on our Ipod or phones.
Certainly some of these activities could be intellectually and spiritually informative. Even the activities that are meant to entertain us or provide some relaxing time and are not necessarily bad. However, when they keep us too busy for crucial activities, we have a problem.
Which brings me to the next question, what are we too busy for? In my novel, the people were so busy being entertained they failed to notice that their fundamental freedoms were being taken away.
In embracing the Catholic faith we come to love spending time with God, our Creator, and loving Father. We acknowledge that if this is the most important relationship in our life, then we must keep him as the primary focus and eternal goal.
However, we readily claim to be too busy to pray, too busy to attend retreat or Bible study, or weekly Mass. Too busy to make time for those in need of our care and attention. At times we even claim to be too busy to give personal attention to our spouse and children.
Certainly, it is a challenge to make good use of time. Satan is persistent in his attempts to distract us. Balancing prayer, work, rest and play time is difficult, but it is worth the struggle.
If we truly believe and accept that God created the world and everything in it, we know he meant everything to be for our good and to be enjoyed by us, in moderation. However, the devil takes God’s creation and distorts beauty. Satan tempts us to seek complete fulfillment in the ‘things’ of this world, drawing our attention away from all things eternal, especially the condition of our souls. If we are too busy and distracted then we won’t take time to contemplate truth and beauty.
What happens while we are busy and distracted? Corrupt governments are voted in, babies are killed in the womb, teenagers commit suicide, spouses are unfaithful, families fall apart, and children go hungry…just to name a few. While we sit idly by, giving these atrocities barely a passing glance only to blame someone else for all that is wrong with the world. Worse still we even blame God.
A line from yesterday’s Gospel (John 8:31 – 42) tells what we are actually doing when we are too busy for God. Jesus says, “…you are trying to kill me, because my word has no room among you.”
When we don’t allow the word of God to take root in our hearts and transform us we sentence Jesus to death again. Christ dies to free us from the bondage of sin and give us the chance to get to heaven. By choosing to soak in worldly activities and forsaking truth and beauty, we are refusing to be freed. In a certain sense, we keep Jesus on the cross, claiming we didn’t need him to overcome sin and death through his resurrection.
A prayer that has proven most powerful and fruitful for me is to think about St. Paul and ask the Lord to remove the scales from my eyes and allow me to see what I am not seeing. Be forewarned, in my experience God is as generous in responding to this prayer according to your readiness and humility to accept the truth.
As we prepare to start Holy Week, be assured of my prayers for each of my readers that you may be brought deeper into the divine life.