Avoiding God

Avoiding God

I have a confession to make: I’ve been avoiding God.

It’s probably a terrible thing for a minister to confess, one who works in a Baptist church, but I just… I just haven’t been feeling it lately.

At some point in the last month, my desire to journal shrank as well as my desire to pray, read the Bible, and sit with Jesus. It’s not that I don’t believe in God anymore, it’s that it’s gotten to the point that it all feels like work. Like I’m just going through the motions.

I’ve written about the importance of intimacy in the past, about making time with Holy Spirit a priority. But lately I’ve allowed myself to become preoccupied with other things. I’ve become unbelievably busy, almost on purpose.

The funny thing is that I would benefit the most right now from sitting down and listening to God speak. I need the direction of the Holy Spirit. I need divine guidance in multiple areas of my life and ministry.

Why you might be avoiding God

I wonder if any of the post-resurrection disciples ever felt this way? Jesus was no longer tangibly present, they were helping strengthen and grow the fellowship, but as time wore on and the reality of Jesus faded into a distant memory, did they ever lose their motivation? Did they ever lose their drive? Did they ever lose touch with him?

The late Mike Yaconelli said:

“Spiritual growth is not running faster, as in more meetings, more Bible studies, and more prayer meetings. Spiritual growth happens when we slow our activity down. If we want to meet Jesus, we can’t do it on the run. If we want to stay on the road of faith, we have to hit the brakes, pull over to a rest area, and stop. Christianity is not about inviting Jesus to speed through life with us; it’s about noticing Jesus sitting at the rest stop. While the church earnestly warns Christians to watch for the devil, the devil is sitting in the congregation encouraging everyone to keep busy doing ‘good things.’”

He also wrote:

“We don’t struggle with the Bible, but with the clock. It’s not that we’re too decadent; we’re too busy. We don’t feel guilty because of sin, but because we have no time for our spouses, our children, or our God. It’s not sinning too much that’s killing our souls, it’s our schedule that’s annihilating us. Most of us don’t come home at night staggering drunk. Instead, we come home staggering tired, worn out, exhausted and drained because we live too fast.”

Not too long ago I wrote about the importance of slowing down. I think I need to get back to that. I think I need to begin saying “no” to more people and more opportunities that take away from what’s really important to me.

Spiritual growth involves time, intention, and listening… but so does becoming human.

How not to avoid God

I’m writing all of this because, well, I don’t have it all together. I’m not a perfect little minister who sits in a corner and prays every damn day while reading the Bible during lunch. I’m a freakin’ human.

I struggle with this stuff just like you probably do.

And if that’s the case, then let’s commit together to slowing down, saying “no” to at least one thing this week, and creating space for us to take a break at the rest stop and sit with Jesus, our spouse, our children, or others who are important to us.

MS

About Matthew Snyder

Matt is a thirty-something writer and young adult minister. He lives in Atlanta with his wife, Merridith, and their dog, Finn.

1 Comment

  1. Avoiding God is like avoiding your shadow. God is not object. We’re composed of God’s essence. Distracted, afraid, navel gazing… could all be part of what you’re talking about, but avoidance is impossible. There is no where to go or hide. Ask David.

    I love the idea, and this blog!!!

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