I’m a pretty high energy person. I jump out of bed in the morning with a “to do” list staring at me. I start checking things off the list as soon as possible. I absolutely love it if I can get everything done and have a little bit of time on my hands to do something I want to do instead of something I have to do. This doesn’t happen very often, but when it does, I love to get caught up on a recorded show, read an article I’ve been wanting to read or listen to something interesting on my YouTube feed. Idle time is something that I do enjoy but I’m not sure I always navigate it correctly.
When used as an adjective, the word idle means without purpose or effect. When used as a verb it literally means to spend time doing nothing. First of all, there is absolutely nothing wrong with rest. God instructs us to rest from our work and busy lives. He knew when He designed us that we would need rest. However, too much “rest” becomes idle time and quite frankly, can be wasted time. That’s where the “idols” of idle time have a chance to slip in. For instance, our phones. The phone has become an attachment to our bodies. It’s rare to see someone without a phone in their hands. They are good for safety purposes and daily management at a glance, but how much time do we really need to be on that device? Is all of the information we’re taking in good for us? Do we even know how to have a face to face conversation with anyone anymore? I would definitely say that my phone has become somewhat of an idol in my life. An idol is something greatly loved, admired or revered. Wait! What? Revered? I wouldn’t say that I “reverence” my phone, but I certainly can’t seem to put it down! This is not good. And what about those certain “habits” we can’t seem to shake that aren’t very beneficial for us either? When your mind is in default mode, where does it go? Do you constantly think about “blank”? Could this possibly be an idol? How much of your time do you give it? Then there’s certain relationships that we put before anything and anyone else. You could have plans to visit a relative and a certain person calls. You immediately put off your plans to accommodate this person. They always have the ability to sway your thinking. Could they be an idol? These are just a few choice points that can literally dictate our lives if we allow it.
“You must not make for yourself an idol of any kind or an image of anything in the heavens or on the earth or in the sea. You must not bow down to them or worship them, for I, the Lord your God, am a jealous God who will not tolerate your affection for any other gods.” (Exodus 20:4-5 NLT) Ok. This has some serious implications. God IS The Creator. We’re created in His image so He allows us to have creativity. But when we take a created person, place or thing and put it on the King’s throne in the place of God, look out! God has strong language about not tolerating this. He’s not trying to be mean. He’s trying to keep you safe. He knows that nothing created in this world has the power to be your all sufficient One. Nothing else can give you a hope and a future. Nothing else can protect you from harm. Basically, anything we try to replace Him with, winds up hurting our relationship with Him. It takes our time spent in His presence away. Therefore we don’t hear from Him. We don’t get His direction. He’s speaking but we’re busy. Ultimately, this brings pain to the creation He loves most – us!
“In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth.” (Genesis 1:1 NLT) He should always be first. The direction of your life is completely dictated by where He is on your list. “The Lord keeps you from all harm and watches over your life. The Lord keeps watch over you as you come and go, both now and forever.” (Psalms 121:7-8 NLT) If He is your Lord, this is His promise to you. There is nothing else in all creation that can make this claim to you. Isn’t He worthy of our idle time? Shouldn’t we get to know this King of the universe? He’s got so much to reveal to us that we’ll never learn by binge watching sit-coms. Again, nothing wrong with hobbies. But we have to take time to get to know The One who’s going to take us by the hand during tough times in life.
The Lord is never going to force His way into your schedule. He lets us make choices. We can include Him or not. That’s completely our decision. He’s got so much He wants to reveal to us. He wants to keep a strong relationship with you. He loves you. He knows also that there’s an enemy out there trying to get our attention off of the good news that Jesus offers. He wants us to stay focused on worldly things and news that brings discouragement. The Lord wants to encourage us and direct our paths. So yes, take time to rest and relax. Also take time to spend with The One who holds your future. It’s your decision if idle time is time well spent or idol time that costs you way more than you could have imagined.
Today’s writer is Brandi Crowe. A hairdresser for over 25 years, she is currently the owner of Brandi Crowe salon in Buford, GA. She loves hiking, a good cup of coffee, and spending time with family and friends. Brandi lives in a custom farmhouse with her husband Robby and cat Harold.