I indicate on my blog list that one of those blogs I read is Beyond Evangelical by Frank Viola. I would guess that many who stumble upon this blog read his, at least occasionally, as his is one of, if not the, foremost, on the subject matter I attempt to write on. On his writing of April 24, titled 10 Ways You Can Waste Your Time as a Christian, two of the points he makes (numbers 3 and 4) can be summarized as “stay busy” and “neglect reading the Scriptures.”
Upon reading this, it reminded me of a little booklet I first heard of when I was in college, printed by Inter-Varsity, titled “Tyranny of the Urgent.” I didn’t check, before writing this, whether it is still in print, but if it isn’t, there is another writing to take its place. Since the Industrial Revolution, western society has moved faster and faster. I remember reading some futurist in about 1970 (although the term hadn’t been coined yet) predicting that the maximum work week would need to be cut to 30 hours, as computers would make work more efficient. From this point, we can look back and see that, to the converse, technology has made things go faster and make our work have to go it a faster, and therefore, more stressful manner. The tyranny of the urgent has only been cranked up over the last 40 years.
As I have written earlier, I am disabled insofar as doing a normal 40 hour a week job. Upon reading Viola’s writing, the Spirit convicted me of still being in the trap of feeling a need to stay busy constantly, to fight to prove that I am at least attempting to be economically useful, a task that I have struggled with my adult life. As for reading Scripture, back in college, at the same time that I was introduced to the concept of Tyranny of the Urgent, for the purpose of being aware not to fall into the trap of the world’s constant pressure to do something, as opposed to following the Spirit’s guidance, which is sometimes “stop, and be aware, and worship and honor Jesus, the Savior and Guide to His people, I also became aware of the idea of the Daily Quiet Time. As a matter of daily doing a DQT of at least 15 minutes, I will say I have failed more often than succeeded, if one considers it to be specifically reading a piece of the Word, creating questions about the passage, and answering them, preferably on paper. Later in life, I grasped the idea that a DQT consists of a) reading a piece of Scripture, b)studying the piece of Scripture (which can include reading writings about it), c) prayer, and d) meditating on the Word. As the years went by, meditating on the Word, in a sense, became easier as I had more experience in life, and situations that related to any part of the Word, and, somewhat unique to this culture, meditating on the Word can be done simultaneously with repetitive work and vehicle driving. Still, it reminded me that I haven’t done as much reading Scripture that wasn’t connected with a subject that I was immediately concerned with, which over the past three years, has had much to do with the ideas connected with simple church. The point, in my spirit, is to do so as to honor Jesus, as opposed to a legalism.
One thing that I have noticed over the past couple of months among the blogs I read is dealing with subjects within following Jesus that do not have to do with getting back to the original meaning of church. Felicity Dale has been writing about outreach. I have become aware through that how few people I actually come in contact with during the week (as she writes from the same position of working mainly alone). This blog helps me put the brakes on the little things in life that call, “Do me now” to stop and consider what the Holy Spirit is doing in and around me.