In our current, fast-paced world of hurry, busyness, and nonstop news and entertainment, many things ferociously compete to consume our hearts and minds. However, as believers in Christ, we desperately need to unplug from these thieves which steal our time. The need for quiet, uncluttered, and unhurried time to ponder the truths of the Word of God is as great or greater than it has ever been.
For several years, the Lord consistently pulled at my heart, to release certain things. I, on the other hand, consistently reasoned why they were not bad things … and they were not bad, in and of themselves. The problem was that they consumed my time, and I could agree that they were often a waste of time. I have since come to understand that how I spend my TIME is how I spend my LIFE! Therefore, if it was a waste of time, it was, sadly, a waste of my life.
It all began with a question that the Lord placed on my heart. The question was:
What is entertainment?
As I so frequently do, I headed to the dictionaries. What I found could be summed up in these phrases:
Entertainment: To pleasurably occupy the mind, to divert the mind, to amuse the mind
What I realized was that the role of entertainment was specifically directed to the mind. Several definitions focused on the diversion of the mind. And then came the next questions:
What does the word divert mean? And … to divert the mind from what?
Back to the dictionaries I went:
Divert: To turn aside from a path or course; to draw off to a different course or purpose; to distract from serious occupation
So the question I had to face was:
What was turning aside and distracting (diverting) my mind from the things of Christ?
Clearly, if we are honest, we can see that entertainment (as well as other things) does divert the mind from reality and from the things which are truly important. But for the believer, a much more serious problem arises. It serves to divert the mind from the Lord Himself and from His Word.
When I came to that realization, I so wish that I could say that I quickly and readily laid aside those things which were stealing my time (my life) and diverting my mind. I didn’t. I continued to falter. Lay them aside. Pick them back up. Waste time. Diverted mind. Lay them aside. Pick them back up. Waste time. Diverted mind. Ashamedly, I tell you, I remained in that pattern for quite some time.
What I finally came to understand was that God had something infinitely better for me. He wanted that time for something incredibly more meaningful. He wanted that time (my life) for Himself. He wanted that time for me in His Word. And He wanted me to have time to meditate … to ponder … on His Word. (By the way, one can ponder the Word of God as she is at the kitchen sink, as she folds laundry, as she nurses a baby, as she rides a lawn mower, and on and on and on.)
Blessed is the man who walks not in the counsel of the ungodly, Nor stands in the path of sinners, Nor sits in the seat of the scornful; But his delight is in the law of the LORD, And in His law he meditates day and night. … Psalm 1:1-2
Blessings lie within meditating on the Word of God. Quiet, uncluttered pondering on the Word serves to settle our hearts in truth and guide our paths. It helps us think and walk rightly.
But along come all of the things that will divert our minds. That is why it is so necessary to be keenly aware of where our thoughts are going. If we are His, we must set our minds on our risen Lord and the things above.
Colossians 3:1-2 exhorts us:
If then you were raised with Christ, seek those things which are above, where Christ is, sitting at the right hand of God. Set your mind on things above, not on things on the earth. …
For the believer in Christ, it matters where our thoughts are. It matters if our thoughts are diverted to fleshly and earthly things, rather than things above. When our minds are set on things above where Christ is, He then shows us how to properly live on this earth. He will teach us to be the person He wants us to be. He will teach us to be the neighbor He wants us to be. If we are married, he will teach us to be the wife He wants us to be. If we have children, He will teach us to be the mother He wants us to be. He will teach us that whatever we do in word or deed, to do all in the name of the Lord Jesus. And it will all be for His glory!
Lord, help us to guard our hearts, for from that heart flows everything about our lives. Help us, Lord, be willing to lay aside those things that divert our minds from You.
Keep our heart with all diligence, For out of it spring the issues of life.