As I sit here typing this, I have...oh...6 tabs open on my computer. I have my phone laying next to me, and there's music playing loud enough that you can hear it throughout the church. By the time I've decided on my next sentence, I will have probably checked my phone.
Yup, just did.
My life is full of distractions. I think I almost search them out. I don't like to sit and be still; something inside of me whispers "this is wrong...you have to keep moving!" Not moving in the physical sense (I spend most of my day at a desk), but mentally. It's hard to focus my attention on one thing for any lengthy period of time. I am constantly flitting from screen to screen, picture to picture...but what am I looking for? I never reach my quota. I never lay in bed at the end of the day, satisfied that I've consumed enough media for the day. I've fallen asleep while scrolling through Instagram.
Have you ever tried to tell a friend something when they were clearly distracted? They might nod, smile, glance up at you every so often, but you can tell that their mind is somewhere else. We're that friend when it comes to Jesus. He could be showing you this big, open door, with neon signs flashing, arrows pointing, shouting "Come this way!" but we just nod. And then complain that God never answers us, or tells us where to go. It's easy to place blame. It's harder to listen.
Someone who inspires me to slow down and take time with God is my friend, Levi. Have you met Levi? He's one of the Sr. Youth leaders here at LSCF. He plays the bass? Glasses, cool shoes...oh. You probably know him as Lenny. Or Levy. Or LenDogg...
He is a very intentional person, both with the people he cares about, and God. He sets aside time with God like someone would make a plan with a friend. Because that's what God asks of us; He wants to be our everything! He wants us to take time out of our daily lives to get to know Him as a friend, and as the Father.
This can seem daunting. How do you hang out with God?! Don't worry, there's no right or wrong way to do it. For me, I need a quiet place, preferably outside. I like to be able to see God's creation, and living on the prairies, you can see everything for miles. If you're looking for a place to start, you should read Ephesians 1:15-23. Paul is writing a letter to the Ephesian church, encouraging them in their faith. Paul's prayer is applied to you today, not just past followers. The entire book of Ephesians challenges us to live a life that is God-centered, not self-centered. Below I've included a break down of Ephesians, with some key verses and ideas pointed out.
I hope you're able to take some time to get to know God this summer. Like any strong relationship, it takes time and consistency. And don't worry, God is opening and doors and windows miles ahead of where our noisy feet drown Him out. We never run out of chances. Our Father has all sorts of plans for us, we need only to listen.