How do you connect to people? It’s a question I’ve been thinking about increasingly in recent days, as life gets more hectic and the pressures of work make time ever more precious.
As with so many things, the internet can be a blessing or a problem. It can deliver information to our fingertips at the click of a mouse, give us access to knowledge, understanding, entertainment and much more at very modest cost – and help us communicate faster, wider and more creatively than ever before.
But we all know some of the downsides: junk e-mail, ‘phishing’ scams where crooks try to hijack your bank account. It can also be addictive, divide families and lure many into gambling habits and more.
Too much time online can see you neglecting family relationships. Yet interest groups via e-mail, hobby websites, instant messaging and more can see you make plenty of new friends. And the constant interaction can see you feel you know these people better than many you see day to day.
Relationships need time, and they need regular feeding. In our stopwatch lifestyles, leisurely conversation is a prized gem that so often seems just out of reach. Even texting and instant messaging can so often be just brief exchanges of information.
Do we feel the same way about the time we spend with God?
There are many excellent resources that we can use on a variety of electronic devices to help us with our relationship with our heavenly Father, whether it is bible readings, prayer topics or even blogs and podcasts that help us grow in our faith.
These are all excellent, but they are only aids to our relationship with God. We also need to make time to spend with Him, even if it is only a couple of minutes each day. Time spent without the urgency of texts, skype calls, tweets etc – time spent talking and listening to what God has to say to you and to me.
Neglecting our relationship with God by not giving Him this time means that we are losing out. We all need to hear what God is saying to us. What He is saying may well come from our reading the Bible, listening to a sermon, or reading a blog; but often it comes when we are listening and waiting, not distracted by the busyness of life, but spending a little quality time with our Father.
So why not take a little time this week, lay down the technology and spend a few moments in conversation with God? Remember though, conversation is a two way thing, we need to talk but we also need to listen. Build up the time you spend, a few moments more each day and you’ll be amazed at the difference spending quality time listening to God can make in your life.