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Posts Tagged ‘Music’

Thanks to my fellow man Andrew Bruner, who introduced me to the Relevant magazine, I went to their website and stumbled upon this article. It talks about how our digital world makes it very hard for us to keep our attention on one thing for an extended period of time.

With cell phones and computers, the internet is so accessible and communication is so easy. There always seems to be something to do, be it necessary or not. These technologies just ask to be used at any moment of slight inactivity. It’s rare that one finds themselves with the time – or rather, the capacity, – to just sit and think, reflect on life. Social networking websites like Facebook don’t improve the situation, either. I myself join in the throngs of college students who check Facebook religiously every day.

Speaking of short attention spans, I was listening to iTunes while I read the article, and it took me much longer than it should have to finish because I couldn’t help but to constantly switch between the two windows. Brett McCracken, the author of the article, puts it into perspective thus.

The thought of sitting still and doing nothing is unfathomable.

Indeed. It reminded me of an experience that some of the members of my church had over the summer. During Leadership Training, they were instructed to go out and spend some alone time with God for two hours. Lots of them were planning on bringing their Bibles with them, but they were told to go empty-handed and empty-headed. They couldn’t talk or read. They were not to pray or even think! They were to just sit and imagine God sitting next to them.

In the end, some say it was one of the most enlightening, satisfying, and powerful experiences of their lives. Just hearing about it inspired me. Too often I pray that God gives me genuine direction and wisdom in my life, and I expect to just run into it as I go about my regular day. But it isn’t a stretch to realize I might have to go out of my way and strive to gain that insight.

Between classes, work, homework, and spending time with friends, our schedules are usually full from head to tail. The situation looks even worse when you think of all the various hobbies you prefer to spend time doing. In addition to all my daily obligations, I’m always looking to do more blogging, pleasure reading, chess and guitar-playing. That leaves very little time for reflection!

I challenge myself and others to spend a couple hours this week by ourselves, listening to God and reflecting on life.

-hasta pronto

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Here’s something that’s been worrying me. I remembered reading somewhere that man, by himself, is not only a sinner, but can do nothing but sin. Everything he does, even his most righteous acts are like dirty rags to God. It took some searching, but I found it to be from Isaiah 64:6:

“We are all infected and impure with sin. When we proudly display our righteous deeds, we find they are but filthy rags. Like autumn leaves, we wither and fall. And our sins, like the wind, sweep us away.” (NLT)

At first, this made sense to me. If I were not a Christian, and I went out of my way to help a stranger in need, my reasons for doing so would be mostly selfish. Knowing that I would get nothing in return, I would probably just be doing it for the good feeling that comes from helping others, or for my reputation in front of those around me.

It made sense to me why God would see this deed as filthy, since it was so selfish. Then, once a person was saved, their reasons for doing acts like these would be to honor God, rather than themselves. And so it’s only once we are dead and Christ begins to live through us that our deeds can be righteous to God.

Anyway, I worried about this, because I thought of all the things I still do to honor myself. For example, learning a secular song on guitar could only bring glory to myself. And just the other day, I wrote a funny note for people to read on Facebook. I began to wonder if doing things like these, which don’t really honor God, would be considered wrong, or even sins. If, by being saved, it’s as if I’m dead and Jesus lives through me, why should I continue doing things that Jesus wouldn’t have wasted his time doing?

I brought it up with my Fusion group at h2o, and they counseled me, saying that not everything we do as Christians has to be about God, but it can still honor Him. As long as my jokes are wholesome, and they don’t attack a certain party or have to do with inappropriate topics, I can honor God with them. The same goes for playing secular songs on my guitar: if the words to the song are appropriate and meaningful, I am honoring God.

Of course, as Christians, God should always be on our minds, and we talk to Him throughout the day. As a result, He should naturally come up in our conversations with people and in the things we do. But to think that we can’t enjoy something just because it doesn’t mention God or doesn’t give glory to Him in any really obvious way isn’t right. After all, God wants us to be joyful and enjoy life.

Now I’m going to go do the laundry! 😀 This consists not only of my own clothes, but also all the dish towels and rags in our kitchen, because they all stink. I only mention this because it goes along well with the theme of this post. heh heh

-hasta pronto

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