6 Minute Read + Scripture readings

Today’s Bible Reading:

2 Kings 4
1 Timothy 1
Daniel 8
Psalms 116

Today’s Bible Verse(s):

2 Kings 4:9–10 (CSB): “Then she said to her husband, ‘I know that the one who often passes by here is a holy man of God, so let’s make a small, walled-in upper room and put a bed, a table, a chair, and a lamp there for him. Whenever he comes, he can stay there.’”

Reflections on Today’s Bible Verse(s):

I was born in 1970. My generation (Generation X) has seen an explosion of technology in our lifetime. We’ve seen the microwave, the computer, the mobile phone, and so many other devices go from being an expensive, rare, luxury item to reasonably affordable, wide-spread, “needed” items.

But the blessing came with a curse. Technology held out the hope of simplifying our lives. But with all of the benefits that it brings, it has created an environment in which we are constantly bombarded.

For instance, as I type this blog post on my iPad, I am periodically being interrupted with notifications (even though I have turned many of my notifications off). A drop-down notification makes me aware that there is movement on the street in front of our house. I am made aware that a news story just broke, possibly on the other side of the world. I am made aware that someone just texted me. I am made aware that someone just sent me an e-mail. On and on and on I could go.

Those folks who mock the people who have smart phones and other tech devices are often the people who have their television on at home and the radio on in the vehicle. Regardless of what technology we utilize, it wants to constantly bombard us.

Friend, our minds and bodies weren’t made for this sort of constant, heightened awareness. We were made for nature. God created Adam and Eve and didn’t put them into a room with all sorts of technology. Instead, he put them in a garden. He put them in a place where they experienced the quietness of outdoor life. Their senses weren’t constantly on overload. Instead, they were at peace with the world around them.

Many of you reading this article have the ability to periodically get out into nature. Many of you don’t. For those who don’t, we can benefit from the verses that I have chosen for today. Set a time and/or a place to go “minimalistic” for at least a brief period of time.

2 Kings 4:9–10 (CSB): “Then she said to her husband, ‘I know that the one who often passes by here is a holy man of God, so let’s make a small, walled-in upper room and put a bed, a table, a chair, and a lamp there for him. Whenever he comes, he can stay there.’”

No phone. No computer. No television. No radio.

Just a bed, a table, a chair, and a lamp.

Talk about “minimalistic”! The Shunammite woman wanted to provide a place for Elisha to stay that took away all of the clutter in life. It was a simple place that allowed time for quiet, reflection, prayer, reading, resting, and other rejuvenating activities.

How might this apply to you and me? How can we work to declutter our lives in a way that allows our soul to experience the quiet that it is so desperately needing?

Well, here are some ideas:

  • Frequently take walks in nature or in a city park with lots of green vegetation. Let the beauty and quiet move your heart to gratitude and praise of Almighty God.
  • Just as God “breathed the breath of life into (Adam’s) nostrils” (Genesis 2:7), be intentional about taking deep, relaxing, life-giving breaths. Maybe play some relaxing music while enjoying your breathing exercises. (I typically breathe in for 3 counts, hold it for 3 counts, and exhale for 3 counts. Then, I simply repeat this practice until I feel relaxed.)
  • Set aside quiet time to meditate on Scripture and life, and spend time in reflective, passionate prayer.
  • Turn off many of the notifications if you have a smart phone so that you cut down on the times that your phone is screaming for your attention.
  • Consider taking periodic fasts from technology (especially social media) for at least a portion of the day if not for a few days at a time.
  • Don’t mindlessly leave your television and radio on. Turn them off. Only turn them on when you are prepared to consume them in moderation.

We simply cannot thrive in an overstimulated state. It will negatively affect us mentally, emotionally, socially, and eventually physically. So, look for specific times and ways to simplify. After you have done so and experienced the benefits, you will be glad you did.

* * * * * * * * * *

Lord Jesus, as I read the Gospels, I am reminded that You often got away by Yourself to pray and reflect. Life for You was constant bombardment as people surrounded You, desiring to hear what You said and see what You did. So, You intentionally set aside times to get away, simplify, and get recharged. In a world that is overstimulated and filled with chaos, I’m seeing the benefit of following Your example. Help me as I seek to follow Your example and look for times and ways to experience the rewarding spiritual disciplines of silence and solitude. In Your Name I pray, Amen.