an evil trick

Posted: October 19, 2010 in faith, sin

My small group is reading / discussing the Donald Miller book Blue Like Jazz on Monday nights.  I realize that this is by no means the new must-read in the world of Christian faith….it’s been out for several years, and I’m not sure if there’s  a pastor on earth who hasn’t read it.

But only 2 of us in small group had ever read it, and for me it was nearly 3 or so years ago, so I’ve forgotten most of it.  And whether you like the content or not, it makes for great discussion.

In chapter 2 – which we discussed last night – Miller writes…

“I believe the greatest trick of the devil is not to get us into some sort of evil but rather have us wasting time. This is why the devil tries so hard to get Christians to be religious. If he can sink a man’s mind into habit, he will prevent his heart from engaging God.”

Reading this again impacted me profoundly.

By my estimation, I am awake approximately 120 hours each week, give or take an hour.  I spend about 9 of those hours driving to and from places, including work.  I spend most of those hours listening to sport talk radio.  I spend 45 – 50 of those hours actually at work.  About 6 of those hours are spent cooking, cleaning, doing chores around the house.  Typically about 9 – 10 hours each week are spent at Crossings and/or at small group.

At this point, there are at least 45 hours leftover.  Let’s safely assume that at least 10 of those hours are spent watching television….some weeks as many as 18 hours.  A couple of hours each week to travel to Walmart and do grocery shopping, and we’re still left with 20-25 hours remaining.

Now let’s ask the tough questions. How many hours each week do I spend engaging God – including time at church and small group?  (Answer – maybe 3 hours?)

How many hours do I spend truly engaging my son, reading books with him, playing with toys, taking him to ride his bike?  (Answer – probably another 3 hours?)

How many hours do I spend engaging my wife, talking, turning off the tv, and just being attentive to her as a husband and friend?  (Answer – another 2 – 3 hours?)

This sh*t has to stop.  The truth is, each week I probably spend more time driving in my car, listening to sports talk, than I spend in authentic relationship with God, my wife, and my son COMBINED.  I spend 5 times more time watching television than I do reading a book.  I’ve spent nearly as much time drafting this blog post as I have in one-on-one prayer with the Father in the last few days.

The devil has had an evil trick up his sleeve, and he’s caught me hook, line and sinker.

God help me.

  1. Leeann says:

    That’s a great challenge you just issued. (whether you meant it as a challenge or not)

    While my schedule isn’t the same as yours nor does it necessarily involve the same things, there are still many hours that I can account for that aren’t used constructively, much less used for God.

    Well said my friend.

  2. Shelley says:

    Bam! Hit the nail on the head here for a lot of us.
    Trying to replace some “me” time with “God and me” time.
    And family time right under that…

    Great insight Jason.

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