We need to open up to save the economy. We need to stay closed to save lives. Small businesses will be saved if we open up. To keep from being overrun by the disease we need to stay closed. Small businesses will go bankrupt if we open up. To keep more people from dying we need to stay closed. The arguments are continuous. They are from every side and perspective, from the experts to the arm-chair epidemiologists.
To follow all of it must be what it feels like to be insane. It is mind boggling. It is frustrating. It is infuriating. It is alarming.
It is a distraction.
Dis- means apart. Tract means to pull in different directions, and -tion means the act of. The act of dragging or pulling apart in different directions; to disorder the reason of; to divert from one point to another.
We are missing the point. We have been diverted. All the noise is chasing us into our homes. The silence to which we have finally adjusted is being shattered as we think about getting back to ‘normal.’ It seems louder than it used to be, doesn’t it? Almost like it is afraid we have changed our ways, so it is shouting to gain our attention, and it is working.
At least, it was for me. In my effort to educate myself and find information, I started being sucked into the vortex of arguments. Reading articles from opposite perspectives only increased my irritation. It seems as if we have gone back to childhood in our behaviors and comments. Our lack of maturity is showing, but more than that, this latest tsunami of opinions has drowned out the still small voice, and that is dangerous.
At the beginning of this, God’s admonition to me was to get on my face before him. He has not yet told me to get up. To gather information, I had to get up. He didn’t tell me to gather information. He didn’t tell me to have an opinion. He told me to sit before him and to listen. I have fallen for the distraction and it has pulled me apart from him in a different direction.
The story of Mary and Martha shows this idea clearly. Martha was distracted by the preparations. Getting things ready. Moving quickly to organize. Making a plan. While Mary sat at his feet. How infuriating. How frustrating. How alarming. Martha makes her case, but she has missed the point. Which Jesus explains to her clearly, “You are worried and upset by many things, but only one thing is necessary.”
We are worried and upset by many things. Our jobs. Our health. Our family. Our world. Opening up. Staying closed. So many things crying out to burden us. Feeling this burden and unsettledness is actually one way to tell whose voice you are listening to. If you are worried and upset, you are not hearing the right voice.
Only one thing is necessary at this moment in time. Sitting at his feet and listening. To him alone. Personal, deep relationship. Intimacy = into me see. Letting your walls down. Cleaning the inside of your cup instead of the outside. Taking off your masks. Opening up….yourself.
Resist being driven to distraction. Resist the frenzy. Refuse the tsunami. Shut out the noise. Cut off the news. Stop it all. Instead, climb up in his lap and put your head on his chest. Listen to his heartbeat. Just listen. You will hear the love. You will feel the peace. You will breathe more easily. Open your heart to him. Let him heal it. Let his words be your bread. He is the provider of all you need, and the remover…of distractions.
Be still and know I am God.