by John Eldredge
Finding more of God, growing strong in soul and spirit, requires creating space in your day for God—to intentionally put yourself in a place that allows you to draw upon and experience the healing power of the life of God filling you. Over the ages, serious followers of Jesus have used stillness and quiet, worship, fasting, prayer, beautiful places, and a number of other “exercises” to drink deeply of the presence of God. And untangle their souls from the world.
The ongoing deluge of intriguing facts and commentary, scandal and crisis, genuinely important guidance combined with the latest insider news from across the globe and our friends’ personal lives, gives the soul a medicated feeling of awareness, connection, and meaning. Really, it’s the new Tower of Babel—the immediate access to every form of “knowledge” and “groundbreaking” information right there on our phones, every waking moment. It confuses the soul into a state of artificial meaning and purpose, all the while preventing genuine soul care and life with God. Who has time to read a book? Plant a garden?
Let me say it again, because it’s so counter to the social air we breathe: what has become the normal daily consumption of input is numbing the soul with artificial meaning and purpose while in fact the soul grows thinner and thinner through neglect, forced by the very madness that passes for a progressive life. We are literally being forced into the “shallows” of our life.
I’m not scolding; I’m tossing a lifeline.
Sincere followers of Jesus in every age have faced very difficult decisions—usually at that point of tension where their life with and for God ran straight against the prevailing cultural norm. The new Tower of Babel is ours. We have always been “strangers and aliens” in the world, insofar as our values seemed so strange and bizarre to those around us. We are now faced with a series of decisions that are going to make us look like freaks—choices like fasting from social media, never bringing our smartphones to any meal, conversation, or Bible study, cutting off our media intake so we can practice stillness every day.
The good news is that we actually have a choice. Unlike persecution, the things currently assaulting us are things we can choose not to participate in.
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