I have this feeling that we’re missing God in our normal everyday lives. Our temptation is to look for the spectacular, and so we miss the ordinary, where God usually speaks. If you grew up in the church, you might still long for that ecstatic retreat experience. I remember God speaking to me in a dramatic way out in the mountains of Tennessee. But that’s not the way God ordinarily calls out to us. Think about the first disciples. Jesus called them while they were fishing. He met them in their work.
In part, we miss God because we’re bored. If you have school-age kids, you’re glad the summer is over. You’re glad they’re back in school. They might wish it was still summer, but most of the time they’re bored anyway. No homework, no extra-curriculars, they’re unburdened by responsibility. And so they lose out on direction and purpose.
When your kid tells you “I’m bored,” it’s never shorthand for “Help me become productive.” They’re saying “Entertain me!” Some of our prayers come out like this. We pick empty entertainment over engaging God because God’s response to join him on mission sounds a lot like burden and responsibility. And we don’t really want to hear that word.
Jesus didn’t free his disciples from work, he opened them up to a new kind of work.
But sometimes we miss God’s presence because we’re so hurried. Meyer Friedman uses the phrase hurry sickness. It is this “continuous struggle and unremitting attempt to accomplish or achieve more and more things or participate in more and more activities in less and less time.” Now there are seasons of survival. And Friedman does say that there are real circumstances that force us into this mode. But he also says that some of those expectations are imaginary. Do you know why you’re pressing your capabilities beyond their natural limits?
Jesus called, but the disciples had to look up from their nets.
God doesn’t need your ability, he’s after your availability.