Thursday, March 10, 2011

Was I Just Imagining Things...?

So a few months ago my pastor came into my office, handed me a book, and said, "I think this is more your kind of book."

The book was Imaginary Jesus, the first book by Matt Mikalatos.

Billed as a "not-quite-true story", this wild ride follows Matt as the main character of his own story trying to find the REAL Jesus amid a sea of imaginary ones.

I won't spoil the story much more than that other than to say I really enjoyed this book. It was full of wonderful humor, piercing truths, and challenging thoughts. Not necessarily a book of theology as much as a modern day parable about our approach to our Savior.

As I finished it this week while on vacation, I really identified with Matt and his struggle. The spot that really floored me though was near the end. Matt was walking through a prayer labyrinth when he comes upon a television playing just static. The talking donkey (yes, there is a talking donkey in the story!) comes out from behind the TV and points out that the TV represents Matt by saying:

"I mean that your head is full of static. Stuffed full of television and radio and comic books and noise. You say you can't hear Jesus, but it's because you have earbuds in all the time. You're afraid of silence. You're afraid to let even a strong signal through."

I so identified with this...to a painful level. I say I want to hear from Jesus and yet I fill my life with noise.

music.

movies.

text messages.

voicemails.

blogging.

Even on vacation, I found it hard to make time just for silence and listening. So I have a renewed encouragement to be more purposeful about minimizing the noise in my life.

How about you. Do you have the same struggle as Matt and I? What is the source of noise in your life? What is one way you can reduce your noise this week?

Look forward to your comments. God bless!

3 comments:

Brittany said...

My problem isn't so much being silent, still, and turning of the noise as ignoring all the nasty comments from people that come with it. :D lol

The judgement that if you aren't ALWAYS doing something then you must be lazy. So you feel you have to constantly be busy and NOISEY or productive or you aren't worth more as a person or worth anything to society :)

I struggle with ignoring people most of the time. So prayer to get over this is definitely needed.

Nobody said...

Where's the "like" button for Brittany's comment?

Jesus went away, by Himself, in order to pray. Lately, I've been feeling I, at least, need to follow the model He left for us by doing the same.

The disciples had trouble doing His work, and His response was to tell them they need to pray and fast more. If we're supposed to be ready in season and out of season, maybe we should pray and fast, too.

Anonymous said...

Mark, it's Cannon. I recently finished a retreat out in California with 11 other men where we were silent for one day, the first of 5 days of solitude. It's the 2nd time I've done the trip, and while it's not really a 'fun' trip, I'd recommend it to anyone who'd consider pulling the trigger on it. I say that to say this: it took about 2 1/2 days to get my mind 'quiet.' Let all the static die out and be able to focus on prayer, meditate, and really read the word. It's tough, but it helps us to strip away excuses and distractions (all I had were a journal, bible, and a book, no phones) and hear what God may or may not have to say to you.