The world clamors for my attention with ever-expanding volume, and the same could be said for each of us. Jay Walker-Smith, President of the Marketing Firm Yankelovich, says that in this country we have gone from being exposed to about 500 ads a day back in the 1970’s, to as many as 5,000 a day. Without focus, it is easy to have our morality and spirituality swept away into thought patterns that do not align with godly thinking or a holy lifestyle. Along with the swelling voices competing for our attention, there are even greater demands placed on our time. I was in the office last week of an attorney in a large law firm and he told me that he is required to account for every six minutes of his time because every minute of his work day is worth $17 dollars to the firm. How much are the minutes of your life worth? Probably more than you could imagine.
In many ways, life is more complex than ever before, but in the most important arena things remain profoundly simple. “He hath shewed thee, O man, what is good; and what doth the LORD require of thee, but to do justly, and to love mercy, and to walk humbly with thy God?” (Micah 6:8, KJV). “And thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind, and with all thy strength: this is the first commandment” (Mark 12:30, KJV).
The one thing I do that trumps all else and silences background distortion is when I prefer Christ over myself and to everything else. Nothing uncomplicates life like compelling love. The finest example of this simple obsession that I’ve known personally is Phillip Ingida D’ima. When I met him many years ago in the Kaisut Desert, he was stumbling from hut to hut in Kenya’s northern frontier district, sharing the message of Christ’s liberating love among the largely unreached Borana of Olla D’aba, a village near the town of Marsabit. Philip walks with a limp because of a leg deformed by childhood polio. I’ll never forget Phillip’s response when I asked him one day why he pushed through enormous pain so that he could tell his testimony of God’s grace. He said simply, “Because I love Jesus. What other reason is there to live?” There you have it–the remedy for confusion and the pathway to profound peace–single-minded love for Jesus Christ. “Turn around and believe that the good news that we are loved is better than we ever dared hope, and that to believe in that good news, to live out of it and toward it, to be in love with that good news, is of all glad things in this world the gladdest thing of all. Amen, and come Lord Jesus” (F. Buechner).
“As for me, I will behold thy face in righteousness: I shall be satisfied, when I awake, with thy likeness.”(Psalm 17:15, KJV)