Monday, September 26, 2016

Monday's Devo: #TheLittleThingsAreBig

Anne here.

If you haven't noticed already, there's been a #Hashtag theme going in the last week.
That's because our church is doing a sermon series about social media that has got me thinking about how life has changed.

I vividly remember having a classroom discussion in fifth grade where we all imagined that someday our phones would have T.V. screens where we could see each other when we talked. My ten year old mind thought of a '50's style black & white 13-inch screen hanging on the wall over our black 1960's rotary phone, and we all giggled that we'd have to make sure we didn't have our pajama's on when we called our friends. Little did we know several decades later it would not only be socially acceptable to wear your pajama pants in public, but that the idea of seeing into everyone's lives wasn't far from off the mark.

Entered Cell Phones. Facebook. Twitter. Instagram. Periscope. FaceBook Live. FaceTime. Skype.

For better or worse, our world has forever been catapulted into an odd connection with our world that has moved our private lives into the public eye and risked our priorities.

Sure, social media has made it easier to connect, start a prayer chain, or encourage a friend.
But it's also put a false space into relationships that gets into the way of real intimacy. 

So this week I tried to leave my computer off when I woke up unusually early Saturday morning.
What if God had something to say in the early morning fog of my brain before the world noise started?

I sat drinking my coffee, in silence. Disconnected. Reconnecting.

No screen. No phone. No Facebook messages.
And I waited.
Waited to see who the Father would plant into my thoughts.
What His Spirit would say to my heart.
What word of Scripture might jump off the page.

I read a passage in Ezekiel (34) about God's disappointment when the spiritual shepherds failed to feed His sheep, and I wondered how they could have done such a terrible thing. (gasp #outrageous) Who would do such a thing? Like, were they too complacent, or shirking their duties--instead, scribing with a quill, their heads stuck in a scroll somewhere never bothering to look up? How blind of them! Or were they just having a little fun instead of taking things more seriously?

Enter #StillSmallVoice. Feed My Sheep. If you love Me, feed my sheep. Look up, it's serious. Could I be as off track and blind as those shepherds?

There have always been things that get between us and real intimacy with God and with each other. Things that get us off track. Things we should take more seriously. Whether shepherds of old or millennial hashtags, we all tend to lose sight, all the while reasoning to ourselves it's just a little thing--but when strung together, it's big. I'm sure those shepherds didn't set out to starve the sheep (they were just having a little fun). I'm sure they had good intentions. They were probably even working on a scroll campaign to get the word out about the problem of starving sheep (working on a GoFundMe account selling Q-tips to feed the starving sheep--yep, they were).

I leaned back in my comfy chair. Took another swig of my Starbucks Sumatra Dark Brew. Reconnection. I Prayed for the sheep the Father put on my heart. While praying, I wished I had some flowers to give the person on my heart. Not just any flowers, I wanted Sunflowers to cheer up this particular lamb. But my back yard doesn't have sunflowers, never has. Nice thought.

Coffee mug finally empty. I reached for my phone and texted my son who was bringing his new wife home for breakfast--pancakes or cinnamon rolls?  He voted cinnamon rolls. Hoping it would make them feel loved and well-fed, I hopped in the car to pick up rolls from the bakery.

I pulled into the parking lot. Only three cars---and a tent---with three ladies--and a table full of flowers---SUNFLOWERS. My heart surged. I emptied my wallet to buy them, and marveled that the Father cares that much about the little things we'd talked about while drinking coffee together in silence.

Suddenly, the little things.
Were big.
And I wasn't quite sure who was being fed. The shepherd or the sheep.

Are you taking time to look up?
Listening in the silence?
Taking the time to connect, to feed the sheep in your life?
Are you shepherding your relationships?

Blog post by Anne Love-
Writer of Historical Romance inspired by her family roots. 
Nurse Practitioner by day. 
Wife, mother, writer by night. 
Coffee drinker--any time.
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  1. I love this. Recently, I also read this same passage and automatically applied it to preachers. I never would have applied it to me. It gives me something about which to think. Those sunflowers being at just the right place at the right time is so like God.

    1. Hi Sylvia! And yes, the sunflowers did just as much for me as for the person I gave them to!

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