What is in your hand right now? An electronic device, for sure. Possibly a cup of coffee, praise God from whom all blessings flow!
What will you fill your hands with as your day moves along? A computer mouse, a remote control, a paring knife, a child’s hand, a book, a cell phone, a wine glass, a steering wheel…we fill our hands, our time, our minds, our hearts, and our lives with many things in an ordinary day.
Now comes the question. Will those things you will hold bring you closer to God’s holy presence, or did will they in fact keep you far from it?
Most electronic devices come with an ability to monitor your screen time. If you want a moment of clarity about “where does the time go,” check it out. You might be very surprised to see how much screen time you are consuming. This is another fallout of the pandemic. And yes, I realize that right now I am contributing to your screen time, so hopefully it’s not all bad! Indeed, screen time can be good and productive when it contributes to our work and our lives….and then there is Netflix-binging.
In the first chapter of Mark, some ordinary guys were having an ordinary day filling their hands with ordinary work. These guys were fishermen, so their hands were filled with nets.
Mark 1 (Common English Bible)
14 After John was arrested, Jesus came into Galilee announcing God’s good news, 15 saying, “Now is the time! Here comes God’s kingdom! Change your hearts and lives, and trust this good news!”
Jesus calls disciples
16 As Jesus passed alongside the Galilee Sea, he saw two brothers, Simon and Andrew, throwing fishing nets into the sea, for they were fishermen. 17 “Come, follow me,” he said, “and I’ll show you how to fish for people.” 18 Right away, they left their nets and followed him.
The immediacy of their response is noteworthy. RIGHT AWAY they left their nets.
Where is God calling you to put something down so that your attention can be directed toward his kingdom? Where is God calling you to change your heart and your life? In what way is he asking you to trust that this call is good news for you?
And it’s not just things we need to leave behind. Attitudes, entitlements, anger, misunderstanding, self-righteousness…God also calls us to drop these as well.
19 After going a little farther, he saw James and John, Zebedee’s sons, in their boat repairing the fishing nets. 20 At that very moment he called them. They followed him, leaving their father Zebedee in the boat with the hired workers.
Some even left family and co-workers to follow Jesus. Maybe it’s time to leave behind all the people you have disagreed with over worldly issues and just follow Jesus. Maybe it’s time to leave Twitter behind. Maybe it’s time to leave main stream media, Facebook, Words With Friends, Tik Tok, and all those other distractions behind.
What is in your hand often dictates what is in your heart. Following Jesus requires leaving things behind. But you can trust that your hands will be filled with blessings if you empty them of all the worldly things.