Drowning In All the Voices Around Us
Last spring we planted a garden, and I could not wait to reap the benefits the following fall! The summer brought tons of rain, which we rejoiced at, but as it continued to rain and rain, the grasses and weeds in our garden continued to grow taller and taller. The competition was fierce for who would get the water, nutrients, and sunlight; and I’m sorry to say our garden was on the losing end.
I don’t know about you, but sometimes I feel like the competition for the things I think about can be overbearing. The internet and technology is such a great resource, but along with it come hundreds of voices each day speaking to my head, and in turn- my heart. I’m spoken to by trending news stories, blogs on those stories, people’s comments on the blogs, the 10 memes my friend shared about those stories, the holiday traditions I should be doing so I don’t mess up my kids, the 100th thing I should do with coconut oil, and the list goes on and on. Even reading blogs and devotionals from godly men and women can still leave my head feeling suffocated and overwhelmed by the voices of so many messages telling me what I need to do and what I need to be.
Then one day, I came to John 15, and found myself challenged and refreshed.
Jesus says in verse 5, “I am the vine; you are the branches. Whoever abides in me and I in him, he it is that bears much fruit, for apart from me you can do nothing.”
I was listening to everyone else, and what everyone else thought about Him- but not to Him
God knew I was withering, I was listening to everyone else, and what everyone else thought about him- but not to him. Just like our plants in our garden were overrun by the other plants and grass, I was withering without a lack of real nutrient. So how do we navigate this, how do we take in so much information without relying upon it and overwhelming ourselves?
I find such peace and rest in that phrase, to abide in Christ. It’s a verb- and as any fourth grader will tell you- that means it is an action. It isn’t something that is just going to happen on its own. We need to be actively seeking to remain, to endure, to keep in fellowship with Christ. Of course we must listen to other voices throughout the day- we can’t help it, and many times those voices can be ones of information, learning, and encouragement which can challenge us to grow. The problem lies when we make those other voices the majority, when they don’t turn into helpful extras- but become our life support, the source of comfort where our minds choose to abide. Nothing can take the place of our own time in God’s Word and in prayer- not even Bible commentators, or that Christian blogger. Only then, when we make our relationship to Jesus the priority- the main voice speaking to us- will we be able to make sense of the rest. The sweet news is amazingly, somehow instead of withering- we are able to bear much fruit for our King.