Its said that “Idle moments are risky.” And “Empty time is when the enemy is best able to attack.”
Simply put? I disagree.
Giving God space and time are pre-requisites for relationship. No servant who is 100% devoted to his Master fills his time foolishly. On the other hand, a good servant is simply quite willing to wait and rest — until called upon.
A good servant knows who he is by whom he serves.
“Come to Me, all you who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take My yoke upon you and learn from Me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For My yoke is easy and My burden is light.” Mat. 11:28-30
A good servant fears not hearing and therefore – not responding to – the Master’s call. It’s a poor servant who is distracted by other things when his Master needs him.
If I compulsively fill my time with other ‘stuff’ then I have no presence of mind when it comes to ‘filling the gaps.’ My compulsion is to have no gaps. Our culture is awash with efficiency and getting more done. Sleeplessness is pandemic.
Quiet, empty time is space for prayer and worship. We commonly hear it in 12-step meetings as ‘learning how to be comfortable in our own skin.’ Being alone, waiting for God — and using that time to rest in Him alone is essential.
“It is a safe thing to trust Him to fulfill the desire that He creates.” Amy Carmichael
I have to check myself in each moment — “Is this endeavor, this interest, this desire …something of God? Are the things I’m occupied with in service to something He’s asked me to care for?
Otherwise, the stuff I fill my life with is “Wood Hay and Stubble.”
So neither the one who plants nor the one who waters is anything, but only God, who makes things grow. 1 Cor 3:7
Amy Carmichael spent the last two decades of her life as an invalid. Writing, thinking, praying — continuing her work as her Lord prescribed. Prior to this her vigor was directed to salvaging young lives in India.
“Missionary life is simply a chance to die.” Amy Carmichael
Die to self, the desires and designs of self-orientation — die to desiring things God didn’t create in me. Each of us is a Missionary. Wherever God has us situated, we can serve him.
But agreeing with conventional wisdom that “Idle hands are the devils playground” leads to the presumption that busyness is Godliness.
“Let no one deceive himself. If anyone among you thinks that he is wise in this age, let him become a fool that he may become wise. For the wisdom of this world is folly with God. For it is written, “He catches the wise in their craftiness,” and again, “The Lord knows the thoughts of the wise, that they are futile.” ” 1 Cor. 3:18-20
If my hands are idle for the moment, I can wait on God. But my mind should remain engaged, Worshipfully, Prayerfully … devoted to the Lord.
“Finally, brethren, whatever things are true, whatever things are noble, whatever things are just, whatever things are pure, whatever things are lovely, whatever things are of good report, if there is any virtue and if there is anything praiseworthy—meditate on these things.” Phil. 4:8
Where is meditation time? Is that the 15 minutes I steal before breakfast (and coffee) as I launch into another stressed-out, meaningless kill-or-become-roadkill competition in the workplace?
What if all I had was meditation time? … what’s God look like then? If this doesn’t seem like Heaven to you, then perhaps you might rethink being there for eternity.