Friday, April 13, 2007

With All Vigilance

Carolyn at the Solofemininity Blog wrote an article for Boundless this week that hits right where I am. Her thesis is that our media consumption affects our spiritual life. Media can be an idol.

The Scripture is Proverbs 4:20-27 (ESV) "My son, be attentive to my words; incline your ear to my sayings. Let them not escape from your sight; keep them within your heart. For they are life to those who find them, and healing to all their flesh. Keep your heart with all vigilance, for from it flow the springs of life. Put away from you crooked speech, and put devious talk far from you. Let your eyes look directly forward, and your gaze be straight before you. Ponder the path of your feet; then all your ways will be sure. Do not swerve to the right or to the left; turn your foot away from evil." (emphasis mine)

One of her examples is of a friend who didn't watch any romantic comedies or even the Jane Austen period movies because they left her feeling discontent and distracted. I've noticed a similar tendency, still allowing myself the viewing of these movies on a rationed basis but seeing the need to fill up on God's Word first. Like the buy one, get one free deals, the bonus has to be of equal or lesser value. The movie bonus should take up less time and importance than my time with God. But this week I haven't been so good at that. And I see the results.

One other part of Carolyn's article that especially resonated given my week was her account of a friend, Andrew.

"Look at these pages," he said excitedly, holding out a well-marked Bible. "I've
never read Proverbs like this before. I saw all kinds of stuff in here last
night — it was crazy, like I had never even read the Bible before!" For
six hours one night, God's Word had held Andrew captive. He didn't want to stop
reading and praying.

On Tuesday evening, I felt the same about Colossians. Reading it was like I had never read it before, and I couldn't put it down! When I tried explaining to my friends exactly how God had worked in me through that experience, my words fell short. I could parse Colossians, trying to explain what hit me. Or I could maybe try to tell them to have a similar experience. But I can't manufacture God's voice. However, Carolyn's post would remind us that we can make ourselves more available to God by fasting, by casting down idols, and by dedicating regular, diligent time to prayer and focus on God.

Perhaps my frustration over failure this week in media-consumption and the following unpreparedness for temptation is all the more disappointing in light of the opportunity given on Tuesday. Reading Colossians was like watching a gate open, an invitation to be "fully pleasing" to God, to fix my mind on heavenly things... And I find myself on earth, behaving in an earthly way, disregarding the warning I read just last night from 1 John 2:15-17 - "Do not love the world or the things in the world. If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him. For all that is in the world—the desires of the flesh and the desires of the eyes and pride in possessions—is not from the Father but is from the world. And the world is passing away along with its desires, but whoever does the will of God abides forever."

Keep your heart with all vigilance.

To God be all glory.

No comments: