Quitter – Jon Acuff at Catalyst 2011
A diamond is just a rock we’ve assigned value to. Do we assign value to the wrong rocks?
How do we BE PRESENT to the things God is doing?
- Be available.
To what God has in motion. One sign of how available you are is how much you feed to social media. When you give life to the mobile phone rather than the people you’re actually with. Hang up before you arrive. We are the first generation that has to have a Twitter/ Facebook conversation about what they put online etc. Let the family be your family, not your content. Don’t document for strangers what your family are relating to. It makes them feel like silver medal.
Another sign? You don’t have real friendships. Who are your heart friends – those you’d really miss? Hang out with some people. Spend time with a few. Build it.
Another sign? You get drunk on what’s next and new, and miss NOW. Just sit there, and grow. Culture feeds us to think next. We want what’s new. We create a list of books just to finish them. Movies just to have watched them.
Why do I want to start a ‘new one’ – why not get behind an existing one?
In the prodigal son story, there’s an elder son – who’s not available. Too busy for the party. When the whole farm began to celebrate, he was in the field. Doing what? ‘Slaving for you!’
A beautiful picture of availabilty? Christ. He had time for tax collectors in trees and women at wells. Dinner with sinners.
How to get available.
- Push away from the table. Self help? Don’t always try to be better at being who you are.
- Unplug. Don’t kid yourself that how you relax is to read leadership books. every city needs its parks, green space – or it’ll suffocate! How do you cultivate space. Why do you have great ideas in the shower? Because its the only place you get quiet. Make shower moments in your week, to receive. Musician’s first albums are often great, the second is squeezed out.
- Ask WHY. Why do I need to worry about that? Why do I need to write a book? Have you lived it yet? Ask why and a lot of problems disappear.
- Get counselling. Why do we think it’s great to get pre-marriage counselling, but not for marrieds!? His counsellor asked him, ‘What do your voices tell you?’ Write them down. His voices say, ‘Are you happy? why don’t you do something perfectly then you’ll be happy.’ That voice sounds like a friend but it’s a foe.
Everyone hears this voice: ‘Who are YOU, to do THAT?’
We think that’s God, but it’s not. He knows who you are. He knows what you are there for.
– Another voice, ‘You’re not as good as theirs.’ Thanks to the internet, it’s so easy to find others to compare to and we never give ourselves chance. Comparison? Never compare your beginning to someone else’s middle.
- Another voice, ‘By now it should be… bigger/more..’ Why can’t I just learn from others? Why can’t I be humble enough – rather than have that sense of entitlement and jealous that makes you want something you don’t really want, and ignore the things you already have.
- Another voice: ‘The critics are right.’ I brush off positives., but listen too hard to critics. Critics Math = 1000 compliments plus one insult = 1 insult. Why do we worry about one critic so much that it makes so many other thousands of positive people’s voices fade away.
- Last voice. ‘If I had enough time, I’d do it.’ The devil is afraid of people who DO, not just DREAM. Dreamers who DO change the world. When you don’t give time to the things that matter, those things will suffer atrophy.
There was a SON….And he doesn’t explain it. In the prodigal son story, the father never says a word to the son. He never talked to him, but to the servants. What if when God’s quiet it’s not because he’s mad with us but because he’s planning a party or hugging us.
Be available to God. Get empty to let him fill you up.