In HOPE

  In HOPE 6.15                                  back to home                        David Timms

Ministry Resource

A resource that might help you deal with the distractions and hear God more clearly is Dallas Willard's Hearing God, IVP, 1999 (formerly In Search of Guidance ). Willard brings a fresh perspective and deep biblical knowledge to all his writing.

Hope Happenings

Last Saturday Hope International University held its Spring Graduation service. 224 people graduated, of which 66 trained specifically for Christian ministry roles. We continue to see this ministry as a sacred trust, as we share in the transformational experience of students who prepare to serve the Church and world for Christ. 

 

Hope International University
Fullerton, CA 92831

 

"Concern for appearance might be the American original sin .... The temptation to settle for looking good while everything is falling apart inside can be dangerous. After a long season of accepting appearances for reality, a Christian forgets what truth even sounds like."  (Brennan Manning)


Living By Distraction

Spiritual ADHD (Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder) runs rampant among us. More and more of us seem unable to be still, to focus, to wait, or to listen. We fill our lives with more and more "stuff" that has less and less significance. A tragedy or crisis may stop us briefly. But then it passes.

We hurry from appointment to phone call to email - or from school to shopping to sport - living by distraction. We prefer the pace and the demands because they lull us into a feeling of importance. Busy people are important people. (Who wants to visit a doctor who is on time and has no line of patients in the waiting room? The delays affirm their importance - an importance we'd all like.) Conveniently, the pace we embrace also drowns out the voices of Christ and others who might point out the thin ice we live on.

Generally speaking, we're much more comfortable with busyness than stillness. Constant noise is preferable to silence - just note the next church service you attend. We want to dismiss the quiet place as tedious and unproductive, but the assertion is simply an excuse to mask the fact that we feel threatened by silence.

On the one hand, I'd like God to speak to me. But, if necessary, couldn't He leave a voice-mail or email that I can check on when it's convenient? I'm open to Him guiding my life, but I'd be happy if He'd just bless my dreams and plans. I'll follow Him anywhere, at the appropriate season of my life. I want to be obedient, but I hurry along lest He actually issue an instruction.

I'm the football player refusing to sit down in the dressing room lest the coach catches my eye and has a word for me. Is it not much easier - and safer - to run up and down the stands greeting the fans, walking along the sidelines checking out the condition of the field, and chatting endlessly with former players and commentators about the state of the game these days?

One challenge of our day is not to find time for Christ - but to find the courage to stop for Him.

Contrary to popular claims, the distractions of our lives do not emerge from the world. We create them and empower them. We choose to carry the cell-phone, turn on the computer, load up the i-Pod, work early and late, arrange "business lunches," etc. My schedule, despite my complaints of "a life out of control," remains largely under my control. I make choices every hour.

Our choice to "live by distraction" undermines our intimacy with each other ... and the Father. The distractions become destructive when they clutter our lives, plug our ears, and blind our eyes to spiritual realities.

Perhaps this week some of us will choose to be "fully present" to our spouse, our family, our friends, and our Father - a novel concept in our day.

In HOPE -

David

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David Timms serves in the Graduate Ministry Department at Hope International University in Fullerton, California. "In HOPE", however, is not an official publication of the University and the views expressed are not necessarily those of the Administrators or Board of the institution. "In HOPE" has been a regular e-publication since January, 2001.

For back issues of In HOPE, see http://www.hiu.edu/inhope/