When our thoughts are filled with worries or projects, we can no longer hear the sweet voice of the Holy Spirit. It is often when we are stripped of everything that we become attentive. Do you hear God’s calling right now?
It is easy to be distracted and forget the teachings of God, which are essential for a happy life. Jesus describes it well in the parable of the sower. “Now he who received seed among the thorns is he who hears the word, and the cares of this world and the deceitfulness of riches choke the word, and he becomes unfruitful” (Matthew 13:22 NKJV). The cares of this world, the concerns of our daily lives, all that we have to do in a day. All of this can divert our attention. Sometimes we start to read a chapter in the Bible and our thoughts start to wander. Then, we reach the end of the chapter and we don’t even remember what we just read! That’s exactly what this verse is talking about! Or again, we have a good time studying the Word of God in the morning, but then we get caught up in traffic on the way to work, we are greeted by urgent requests at our offices, and we completely forget what we had studied in the morning.
Now that our offices are closed, our activities are canceled, all gatherings are prohibited, God asks us: “Do I have your attention now?”
The human race is quick to adapt to all kinds of situations. Our ingenuity allows us to find solutions to almost every problem we encounter, which often leaves us with a false sense of security. We are saving to “secure” our retirement. We choose governments that promise to help us in difficult times. We turn to science to solve our health problems. Yet all of these seemingly solid sources of security are not secure, because they are maintained by imperfect humans. This is what the author of Proverbs noted. “He who trusts in his own heart is a fool, but whoever walks wisely will be delivered” (Proverbs 28:26 NKJV).
Now that our economies are going up in smoke, our governments are struggling to stay in control and science still has no cure to the virus, God asks us: “Do I have your attention now?”
Everyone knows that our life ends with death and that no one escapes this fatality. We are doing everything we can to push it back, and most of all, we are doing everything we can to not think about it. We dream of our future marriage, a good promotion, a cozy house. We are making plans to reach goals this year, 10 years from now, or in the next chapter of our life. As children, we can’t wait to be adults. As adults, we look forward to getting married and having children. Once we have a job and a family, we plan for our retirement. But no one wants to think about what happens “after” retirement. Above all, no one dares to think that all of these plans could become meaningless from one day to the next, and our lives could suddenly be threatened. “Surely every man walks about like a shadow; surely they busy themselves in vain; he heaps up riches, and does not know who will gather them” (Psalms 39:6 NKJV) We are so busy living our lives, and planning our future, that we forget God and our eternal life.
Now that a virus reminds us of the fragility of our lives, that natural disasters shake us, that wars threaten us, God asks us: “Do I have your attention now”?
Loneliness is a mirage because God is always with us. If we feel alone, during this time of quarantine, maybe we should take advantage of it to finally give all our attention to God. If the unsaved world trembles with fear around us, perhaps this is our signal to show that we are different and to begin to spread the hope of salvation through Christ. The Sabbath was instituted by God to force His people to stop and focus on Him. Why not see this downtime as a Sabbath and take advantage of it to finally give our full attention to God? Despite everything that is happening right now, let us be like Samuel and respond to the Lord: “Speak. Your servant is listening” (1 Samuel 3:10 CEB).