Have you ever been interrupted by the bleeps and the blips on your computer? You are mid-discussion and you get a bleep from your device and your attention is drawn to it. It might be your iPhone, iPod, iPad, or some other non-apple device and it distracts you from whatever else you were doing. A discussion with a friend…a meal with your family… a time of prayer…a drive on the highway (that can be really distracting!).
A few months back I was watching a TV show and I got this message that flashed across the top of my iPad. It was an important message. It was a church that was contacting me and wanted to let me know where they were in the search process. That was a welcome message. I didn’t mind being interrupted and don’t mind being interrupted for something important. But do you find that most of the beeps and blips can be a complete distraction over the utterly unimportant?
Pretend you’re reading your Bible or praying or having a good conversation or you’re in a really good book and you hear a blip and you look to see what it is and it’s a Facebook message about someone’s birthday…or it’s a Groupon Coupon in your inbox…or it’s a weather update. Are those things in and of themselves important…somewhat. But on a scale of one to ten?
We don’t get any beeps and blips from God but everyday the Word is calling us, the Father is calling us, to hear from Him. His sheep know His voice (John 10:4) and long to hear from Him in His Word. But I wonder if you’re like me and can get distracted from the electronic blips in your life? Do they ever seem more important or more pressing than God? Everyday the God of the universe beckons and you and I can easily get sidelined by some shout out on Facebook that really has no impact to any measurable degree to my life as a follower of the Living God. We want the voice of God to be at the top of the flagpole in our lives and the electronic bleeps to be farther down and sometimes we need to get away from them. Just five years ago the beeps and blips were no competition for God’s voice in my life.
We learn something from the life of Jesus:
 But he would withdraw to desolate places and pray.
(Luke 5:16 ESV)
If you dig into the original you’ll find out something with this verse. The original construction shows that it was an ongoing practice of the Son. The idea was a regular withdrawing and praying. Seems to indicate that He knew how needy He was. Fully God but also fully man. We need to do the same…because the last time I checked, I was fully man. We need to get away to be with the Father because I am needy…and so are you.
I don’t have a data plan on my phone so when I leave the home I can escape the bleeps. I like to go for prayer walks but I’m a bit of a candy bar when the weather gets cold so I sometimes resort to prayer drives. I sometimes pull out the toque and the mitts and brave the cold for some fresh air reading from the ESV on my iPod. Sometimes it means staying inside and turning the blips off. Our family room can be a great escape…I sometimes crank up the fireplace and close the door and commune with the God of the universe.
And you know something…the longer I listen to Him, the softer the bleeps and the blips of this life will be. I don’t mean that the volume will change but my perspective of their importance will change. We live in a world of blips and bleeps but please don’t let them bump out your receptivity to His still small voice.
(The clip below is a reminder of how distracted we can get 🙂