Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Warning the Sheep

Lately, the name Lauren Scruggs has been making huge rounds all over the internet. Lauren, who is a fashion model and blogger, has come under the spotlight for the most tragic of reasons. She lost her left hand and eye to a propeller blade that she ran into at night. The propeller belonged to a plane that she had just taken a ride in to look at Christmas lights from the sky.

After some time passed, curious inquirers wanted to know just how such an accident could occur. Because apparently, it is safe practice for a small-aircraft pilot to shut down his airplane before any passenger steps out. Despite this fact, the Scrugg family is not blaming the pilot for this incident. To read up on the story, you can check out this link.

Well, as I was reading this story, I realized something very poignantly metaphorical. It turns out that  the pilot had put his arm up in front of her before she got out and warned her not to walk in front of the plane. Certain reports claim that a possible reason that she ended up walking in front of the aircraft is because the roar of the engine might have been too loud to hear the warning of the pilot.

As I read this piece of information, I stopped a little while to think about it. I knew that there was something more to this story, when suddenly it hit me like a sack of bricks. (which would have to have some pretty crazy structural integrity to carry bricks with.)

Are our lives too loud to hear God?

The implications of this question go deep. Really deep. Like Marianas Trench status. For those who struggle with recognizing the voice of God in your life, you know exactly what I'm talking about. Because if the answer to this question is "yes," then we must go deeper with the following question:

What is making our lives too loud?

Jesus said, "My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me." But if you haven't been intentionally listening for the voice of God, you probably won't know what it sounds like in your life. You're most likely drowning it out with other things. For brevity's sake, I'll make a list of certain things that may be making your life too loud.

#1- Sin
If you have some kind of indwelling, unrepentant sin in your life, the chances are that you won't be hearing too much from God. Isaiah 59:2 says, "but your iniquities have made a separation between you and your God, and your sins have hidden his face from you so that he does not hear." Trying to get close to God while living in direct opposition of His commands is like trying to get into Disney World with a bomb in your hands - it won't work.

#2 - Distraction
Sometimes, we just get lazy and let insignificant things get in the way of our time spent with God. Like spending an hour on Facebook, or wasting our nights on video games and Netflix. These things might not even be sin, like watching porn or going out or going out and breaking the law, but they still distract us from intentionally spending time with our Maker. John Piper hit it on the head when he said,
"The greatest enemy of hunger for God is not poison but apple pie. It is not the banquet of the wicked that dulls our appetite for heaven, but endless nibbling at the table of the world. It is not the X-rated video, but the prime-time dribble of triviality we drink in every night."
#3 - Busyness
This last noise-maker is one of the most deceptive of the bunch, because we can often be busy with really good things, like working hard to put food on the table or serving in a bunch of ministry opportunities. But if these activities take time away from our personal Jesus-time, we either need to start cutting some stuff out, or start making more time for God by waking up earlier or going to bed later to spend some one-on-one time with Him.

Having said all this, I want to leave with this point: Cut out the noise in your life that's keeping you from spending time intentionally listening (through prayer) for God. That way, if there's a warning for something down the road, you might be able to hear it and save your life.

Note: My condolences go out to Lauren Scruggs and her family. Keep them in your prayers and ask God to heal her. They're going through a lot. (James 5)


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