A few weeks ago, I visited my doctor for a routine check-up and was quickly greeted by overly helpful employees directing me into a “new and improved” patient experience.
Rather than wait outside my doctor’s module and scroll through my phone like the average person, I was invited to engage in numerous “fun” and “interactive” experiences. An eager staff member offered me a choice of text notification or vibrating pager and encouraged me to “browse” until my doctor was ready for me.
Since I neither visit the doctor for “fun,” nor do I want to be beckoned to her office like a table at the Cheesecake Factory, I bit my tongue, rolled my eyes, and went to check my phone. Because I’m average that way.
From my quiet corner chair, I watched as patients were led to tables filled with adult coloring books, magnetic walls where they could piece together poetry, and a coffee bar offering a quick drink.
And I thought to myself, we are an occupied people.
Gone are the days of stillness, self-reflection, and simply being. We are a people who are subject to instant gratification, entertainment, and up and coming fun. I’m not judging—I’m as guilty as the next gal of fixing my attention on social media, Netflix binges, and a good cup of coffee.
History proves we are a people led astray, a wilderness wandering unsatisfied bunch prone to complaining about what’s in front of us and quickly tempted to choose every other thing over the best One.
“… a people without understanding shall come to ruin.”
Hosea 4:14b ESV
I’ve been tiptoeing through the book of Hosea in a She Reads Truth bible study. Israel is once again on the chopping block for their wayward ways and failure to worship the God who rescued them time and again. And God is no happier about it than the first Exodus.
I see the world in each page and verse—a people who have turned their back on God in exchange for worship of the popular, the instantly gratifying, the it-feels-right way of life. But I also see myself.
Distractions that interrupt worship.
Barren busyness that precedes stillness.
Self-interest that steals time with God.
I’m moved to confession, to lift apologies to the Lord for following after idols, for pursuing the wrong pattern just like the Israelites I’ve clucked my tongue at and shamed. But, I am in awe of the God who continually pursued them—who continually pursues us.
It’s rare in this life to find one who fights powers so great
to win a people so flawed. God does.
I fall—we all fall short—of His glory. Yesterday, today, tomorrow, and the tomorrow after that. We are an unworthy and forgetful people. And yet…God loves us DEEPLY. He loves YOU deeply!
“…even as the Lord loves the children of Israel…”
Through pride, disobedience and sin, God watches and warns. He loves us enough to discipline and refine us through resulting consequences, because indeed they come. All the while though, He bathes us in grace, covers our penalty with His blood, and NEVER gives up on His own.
There are no excuses for what we should do and don’t. Most of us who have walked this long path of faith, who know and love the God who walks beside us, understand what we ought to do.
“Let us know; let us press on to know the Lord…”
Hosea 6:3 ESV
We press on. We lean in. We know Him more.
I don’t want to live distracted, but wholly devoted to God.
Not a perfect life, that isn’t God’s expectation, but a life that recognizes the length and breadth of the Father’s love and pushes all else aside to press into Him. That doesn’t come easy, it comes with intention. It comes because there is nothing more worthy of our wholehearted pursuit. ♥
You can also find these words linked up at my favorite spots: Purposeful Faith (#RaRaLinkup), Holly Barrett (#testimonytuesday), Jennifer Dukes Lee (#tellhisstory), Holley Gerth (#coffeeforyourheart), Kristin Hill Taylor (#threewordwednesday) and 3dlessons4life (#thoughtprovokingthursday) .