For some unknown reason, the radio in my car suddenly stopped working. After two schedule-ruining mornings when the car failed to start, we had replaced the battery only a week before. The radio worked just fine – and then suddenly, it didn’t.
My drives to work have been very quiet.
Around the same time, I made a conscious effort to avoid Facebook for a while. After reading one particularly vicious exchange between two strangers with opposite positions, I became annoyed at how the posts dominated my thoughts. Social media sucks us in, rips us away from the real world. I felt that happening, and needed to step away.
Finally, someone in management decided to change the break room TVs at work. Normally, they sit all day on one of the 24-hour news channels. Now, they seem permanently stuck on ESPN. The water cooler conversations during this tense political season were becoming too disruptive. My company even posted an article in the weekly newsletter that we should be sensitive to co-workers’ viewpoints during this “wild” election season.
So, all of a sudden I’ve found myself separated from media – no NPR, no social media, no constant streaming of ‘breaking news’ headlines every time I stop to fill up my coffee cup. It has been blissful!
Lately, the divisiveness in our society has left me feeling utterly exhausted. Instead of looking at another human as someone we can work with to make the world a better place, we see them as the enemy – us versus them. When we encounter another person, we identify our differences and then we judge – our position is clearly better than theirs!
This divisiveness is distracting – we focus so much on our differences that we fail to see God working in the world. (Even through chaotic presidential elections.) And we forget to BE God’s work in the world!
I read an analogy recently about God being like a “divine moth.”
“You rebuke us for our sin, eat up our riches like a moth; we are but a breath.” Psalm 39:12
The author (Barbara Green) contrasted these words with a parable from the Gospel of Luke about the “rich fool” – a man who filled up his storehouse with all he could possible need, then continued to want more (Luke 12:13-21). How do we feel when we find a moth has been let lose, chewing up these material things where we place so much time, money and effort?
The author continues to describe God as a moth, chewing away in our attic/storehouse. (I hope I’m not losing you in the metaphor here…) God as moth “chews” not to get back at us for our excesses, but to step in and remove those things which keep us from growing deeper in relationship with him.
Media today works to control our thoughts and attempts to decide how we view other people in the world. Is the “divine moth” at work in my life, chewing away at the chaotic distractions?
I was initially quite unhappy when my car radio would not start. I pushed that on/off button absolutely every time I got in the car, hoping it would work! But, most days I am thankful for the silence. I am thankful for time in the car when I am forced to be still in the presence of God; to allow God to speak in the forced silence. Because God – the moth – has definitely been using this unplanned quiet time to bring me closer to him!