With all the talk on improving Sabbath day worship, some very obvious things seem overlooked. In all the hoopla and complaining that has been going on, there is the forgotten notion that one should be taking personal responsibility for one’s own worship rather than expecting to be acted upon.
After all, we are told that we should “…work out your own salvation with fear and trembling.” (Philippians 2:12). I suppose that work should include how we worship.
One of the new realities is that we are constantly bombarded with stimulation such that we cannot seem to exist without it. It was not uncommon for my children as they were growing up to say, “I am bored” because there was nothing immediate to grab their attention. At least nothing they were particularly interested in.
My daughter and son, when they first got their beloved pagers, had to sleep with them under their pillows lest they be deprived of an early morning page. This, despite our best efforts to get them shut off and put away each night.
With the advent of the mobile phone and other mobile devices, we now live in a 24×7 communication world. You’ve seen it, maybe you do it. The constant checking, looking and using the mobile device. Can’t leave home without it! Can’t live with it, can’t live without it.
Oh, wait a text just came in. A Facebook post, a snapchat.
“Keeping talking, I just need to see who this is….”
“Dear, your dinner is getting cold. No, wait, I just need to tell them something.”
“Hey, put that thing down, we’re having dinner as a family….”
And let’s not forget, the latest excuse.
“I have my scriptures on my phone….”
The Sabbath was made for man to rest from our daily routine, to take ourselves out of our normal environment and focus on the spiritual, the divine.
Sure, we may not work. We may not shop. We go to Church. But are we really there? Have we unplugged ourselves for just a little while to listen for the still, small voice. I think the purpose of the still, small voice is to get us to stop, pay attention and listen.
Can you do that with the chimes, vibrations, the stimulations around you…?
My parent’s generation was introduced to the radio, my generation, the TV. My kid’s, the computer and then, the mobile phone. We’ve had, in the last 60 to 80 years, the new burden of distraction that perhaps puts an added challenge before us to foster and grow our spiritual side.
I guess the big question is: Can we be still? Can we listen for the still, small voice? Can we, for a 70-minute period each week, just enjoy being quiet and trying to hear what God has to tell us? And maybe to use the time to communicate what we need to Him?
“Be still, and know that I am God…” (Psalms 46:10)
“Could you just text it to me?”