About a month ago, I was watching and slightly participating in a live Twitter Q&A with Tim Keller, pastor of a church up in Manhattan. Some questions were brilliantly crafted to engage the heart on deep truths; others were more playful, taking advantage of the opportunity to ask Tim Keller anything they wanted.
The whole interaction was fun and helpful. I enjoyed watching Tim attempt to answer questions in 140 characters or less.
However, there was one question and answer that has caused me to reflect on many areas of my own personal life.
A young guy whose Twitter avatar depicts him as being in his late 20’s or early 30’s asked,
Why do you think young Christian adults struggle most deeply with God as a personal reality in their lives?
Tim’s response was short, sweet, and to the point.
Noise and distractions. It’s easier to tweet than pray.
This was one of those responses that initially made me chuckle out loud, then quickly followed up with, “wow, that’s actually really good.”
Of course, life is not as simple as a statement or a punch line, but Tim certainly encapsulates much of our culture’s problems when it comes to walking in a passionate vibrant relationship with God. Noise and distractions.
In Western culture, Satan is the most amazing magician the world has ever known. He gets our eyes caught up in something to the left, while the real tricks are happening over here to the right.
Our eyes, hearts, attention, and passions are being focused in on this or that, while there is real warfare going on elsewhere.
Satan doesn’t need to kill us to keep us from advancing the kingdom of God. All he needs to do is distract us, and then we’re out of the game.
I also am struck by the fact that his response pulls on the cords of our comfort-driven, entitled hearts. The truth is that it is flat out easier to pursue the things of this world than to plunge the depths of God’s character.
It takes work to not just know facts about God, but to truly walk with God. It requires effort to follow Jesus. It requires pain to fast multiple meals, begging God to save your friend who wants nothing to do with God. It requires time to press into the riches of God through His revealed Word.
When pressed with the choice to do the time consuming things in life, we often opt-out for the more fun, immediate results oriented type activities.
Of course I’m not saying social medias and having fun are evil. And I don’t think Tim was saying that either. In fact, you probably heard about this blog post through a social media.
What I am saying, though, is that technology is meant to maximize our time, not waste our time.
So, what things in your life could be characterized as noise and distractions? What things are your eyes getting fixed on, while your heart and affections for God are dwindling away? Where might there be some laziness or apathy in your pursuit of God?
I hope you Tweet and I hope you have fun in life! But let’s do those things for the glory of God and the salvation of others, not because it’s easier and less demanding of our lives!