Everyone knows life never fully measures up to what we want it to be. And we all have ways of responding to it when it doesn't. Noise may be one of them.
Here's what I mean: ever feel like you can't turn off the TV, radio, or other media even when you're not actually listening/watching? I noticed this years ago when I had to commute to work in the car. Even on days when I wasn't really paying much attention to the radio, or when I wasn't really that interested in what was being said or played, I had to have it on. It was like turning it off made me uncomfortable - I couldn't handle the silence.
Why, I wondered? Maybe because I didn't want to be alone with my thoughts. Perhaps if I was alone with them they would wander to the chronic pain in my home, or the goals Amy and I (mostly I) had set that didn't get achieved in our time frame. Maybe the constant background noise was a way of crowding out serious reflection and thinking.
Maybe I wanted it that way.
But perhaps that's not the Biblical way of seeing life's disappointments. Maybe there's a healthier, more God-honoring way of responding to them. That's where the following quote from John Wesley, which I found just recently, really struck me. Wesley talks about what it means to really submit to the kingship of Jesus in our lives. He writes:
Whether it be higher or lower, a prosperous or afflicted state: be content that Christ should both choose your work, and choose your condition; that he should have the command of you, and the disposal of you: make me what you will, Lord, and set me where you will…I put myself wholly into your hands: put me to what you will, rank me with whom you will; put me to doing, put me to suffering, let me be employed for you, or laid aside for you, exalted for you, or trodden under foot for you; let me be full, let me be empty, let me have all things, let me have nothing, I freely and heartily resign all to your pleasure and disposalThere it is: a whole different perspective on life's disappointments. Not something to be crowded out by noise, but something to be embraced as the road our Lord has ordained for us. But I cannot think this way, not truly, unless I have embraced the kingship of Jesus deeply.
So I wrote a short devotional Bible study for the Colson Center, based on this quote from Wesley, that draws us in to the Scriptures and what they say about living a Prostrate Life. I hope you find it as meaningful as I have.