In the organized chaos that is my life with the traveling several times a week, back to back meetings, calls with family and friends, counseling sessions, interviews and investigations for work, and spending time with my wife… obviously some things get pushed down the priority list. Cleaning out my Voicemail, different email inbox, and viewing my text messages is usually the first causalities of my jam packed lifestyle. So when I finally realize that my inboxes are full I begin the daunting process of being forced to clear them out. Maybe you experience the same dilemma?
In life we are constantly bombarded with the issues of the day, situations we didn’t necessarily plan for, pop-up encounters with others from our past, ministry opportunities, forming new relationships, and ‘for the love of Pete’ trying to handle our usual day to day. Though in the midst of our ‘busyness’ so much life is happening around us! Those glimmers of Heaven shining through our innate world, neighbors truly being neighbors, opportunities for us to join the Kingdom Mission, and moments of Sabbath. When our lives are too full we miss those things around us, and for the most part we fail to even recognize just how much we are missing. Reason #1 to ‘Clear Your Inbox.’
Additionally, when our ‘inbox’ is full we miss timely messages that are being sent our way… in both the natural and spiritual realms. Sure we might hit delete on most of those messages either because we already dealt with the subject matter… or too often, because the message was a month old or older. Today, I had my purge moment of the week as I ran through my voicemail and a the same number kept coming up in the header of the message. “Mr. Spence this is … I was calling in response to your message the other day and I’m very interested in the opportunity. Please return my call at … Hope to hear from you soon.” Next message, “Mr. Spence this is… just calling you back hoping that the opportunity is still available. I’ll be looking forward to your call.” Third message, “Mr. Spence. Sorry to keep bothering you, but this is … Hope to hear from you soon.” Fourth message, “Mr. Spence. This is … please call me back. Fifth message, “Mr. Spence, this is…” Sixth message, “(silience) *click” Seventh message “*click” that continued for two more messages and then the final message, “sigh.” The individual probably called more, but at this point my voicemail was full and could no longer receive any messages.
In reality I wasn’t ignoring his phone call, in fact my phone constantly rings throughout the day with either employees calling, managers or directors asking for help on this or that, mentees asking for advice, parishioners checking in or needing some guidance, ministry peers wanting to chat, my wife calling, family and friends, etc. All that said… my phone never stops ringing. Because of this I found use of that wonderful iPhone tool “Do Not Disturb.” The saddening thing is due to the amount of information headed my way daily that individual and possibly many like him might feel that I live a “Do Not Disturb” lifestyle, or worse that I don’t care. Though that couldn’t be further from the truth. Reason #2 to ‘Clear Your Inbox.”
When our lives are so congested with information, circumstances, let’s be honest… our thought lives somewhat chaotic, and the unexpected that we should expect every day… We miss things! One of the most tragic things we miss are the messages from our Creator… In a world that is more connected than ever, we are more disconnected from Heaven’s Throne Room than ever. See when are natural lives are jammed up with missed messages, it’s a clear discernment that we have our ‘Do Not Disturb’ message on for any incoming messages, including Heaven’s. As humankind we naturally deal with what is in front of us first pushing the unseen things further down the priority list of our daily lives… However, in the Upside Down Kingdom, that is the Kingdom of Heaven, we are actually encouraged to focus on the unseen or invisible things first, and everything else works itself out. It’s like weird Heavenly math, for example: Man = 1 and Woman = 1, but if Husband plus Wife it still equals 1. Christ compels us to aid needy, the unwanted, the mistreated, the exile, and even our enemies. I’ve never read in the Scripture where it said handle ‘your business first’ then go and help others… In fact as a Husband, before I can do anything Paul writes in 1 Timothy 3 that I should ‘manage’ my household well. That word ‘manage’ however doesn’t me overlord, but serve as he wrote to the Corinthians “Husbands love you wives as Christ loves the Church.” Reason #3 to “Clear your Inbox.”
What’s the point? Try as I might I learn best from the School of Hard Knocks, lessons learned through experience and usually the harder way. But it’s in this light that the Scriptures that I pour over come to light more powerfully in my life. When we forget to Sabbath, we direct ourselves to exhaustion or breakdown. When we forget to Listen, we miss opportunities to meet Heaven on Earth. And when we fail to “Clear our Inboxes,” we put a sign up that says to both the natural and supernatural “Do Not Disturb.”