A few weekends after I graduated OBU back in May of 2016, my family took a trip to Caprock Canyon State Park. One night we were there, we had the chance to view the stars through these incredible telescopes. I am awed easily by the magnitude of space, so waiting in line for a while to look through these telescopes was worth the wait. We got to see star clusters, constellations, the Milky Way, and one of the planets (although I cannot remember which one). That particular state park prided itself in having some of the darkest night skies in Texas. So when all the lights were off at this stargazing shindig, every star in the sky was shining in an incredible way.
There were occasionally however some nincompoops who continued turning on their iPhone flashlights, blinding us unintentionally, and making it immensely hard to see the glory and majesty of the night sky. After getting yelled at by some less-patient fellow stargazers, the lights were turned off and the night sky was seen in its fullness yet again.
The night sky is glorious and majestic. No doubt about that.
But when there are other lights, we become blinded, unfocused, and unable to see the stars.
God is in a league of His own in the glory and majesty department. Absolutely no doubt about that.
Yet when I allow myself to become blinded or distracted by lesser things, I am unable to see Him in all of his glory and might.
The beginning of a new year always prompts me to explore ways that I can become more like Jesus, how I can grow closer to Jesus. The reality for me is that I am prone to get blinded and distracted by countless other things in life that prevent me from seeing all of Him.
The biggest move I’ve made in getting distraction-free was putting my phone up in December, leaving it in the kitchen overnight instead of scrolling endlessly through social media in bed. I had written about this idea a couple times over the course of a year before I actually followed through on what I felt was best for me. I’m weak and lack self-control, and know that I spend hours of uninhibited time on social media if I don’t remove that temptation. That is not an everyone has to do this mandate, but I encourage you to maybe consider it.
Anywho, I got rid of that distraction but I know there are still so many lesser lights that I am prone to get distracted by. Here’s some of my big ones right now:
- Darkness. My heart is to see God and the good news of the gospel saturate and permeate the community that I find myself in. Out of this desire however comes eyes that are maybe a little too aware of the darkness, evil, and sin that are a part of a post Genesis 3 world. What I mean by this is that I can be zeroed in on the here and now, the evil and brokenness of our world, to the point where I fail to see beyond it to the glory, majesty, and power of our King. Yes, the world is a broken place. It’s all over the news. However, God is greater. I believe that. Everything that is broken will one day be made right. Until that time, we should put out the light of the darkness around us (weird illustration) and focus on the glory and majesty and power of God. He is able to bring restoration, redemption, and resurrection to all that we see.
- Work. I’m a spaghetti brain. Unlike most men who have the segmented waffle brains, I have an incessantly and constantly moving brain that is often thinking about 458 things at once. That being said, I do a pretty bad job of leaving work at the office. I think part of this is the nature of ministry, how it does permeate your daily rhythms, but that is no excuse to not put it aside and rest. So for me, I’m learning how to establish rhythms of life where I put work and ministry aside and just rest and relax and enjoy the good graces of God. The light of work blinds me from the majesty of God. No more.
- Self-Reliance. Man, oh man. I gave up on the power of New Year’s Resolutions a long time ago, but this is certainly something I want to grow in in 2018. I am too often dealing with prayerlessness. I journal prayers throughout the day, but as far as sitting alone with the Lord in prayer, I’m still not good at. This is pride, arrogance, and sinful. I am too self-reliant, thinking that I have all I need to get through my day without the power of God’s Spirit within me. Because I don’t go to Him, I miss out on seeing Him move. Because I miss out on seeing Him move, I miss out on seeing His glory and majesty.
I don’t know what your lesser lights are, but my prayer is that you will put them aside, or at least dim them so that you can see the greatness and majesty of God. Lastly, don’t be a light that distracts or detracts from God’s glory yourself. In our arrogance, we can become people who draw attention to ourselves, instead of letting people see through us to the glory and majesty of the God we serve.
I’ll close with this.
Blessed be the Lord, the God of Israel,
who alone does wondrous things.
Blessed be his glorious name forever;
may the whole earth be filled with his glory!
Amen and Amen! – Psalm 72:18-19
He does wondrous things. He is glorious. Look at Him.
In His Name,
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