Dake Bible Discussion BoardToo busy to be quiet?

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Grandfather
Bless the Lord with All Thine Soul and Forget Not Who Forgiveth All Thine Iniquities
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Too busy to be quiet?

Post by Grandfather »

Okay, this "Shelter in Place" order that most of the United States is under is causing some people to go a little "stir crazy." We are used to going, moving, changing locations. There can be a case made that we are so "go" oriented that we do not know how to sit and be still. While many, if not all, on this forum will make the claim that they spend countless hours studying God's word. The rest of the world is not that way. A recent survey showed that the vast majority who claimed to have a strong relationship with Jesus Christ spent less than 2 minutes a day reading His word.

With that said I read the following article.

Our Inability to Sit in a Quiet Room Alone
APRIL 3, 2020 BY GENE VEITH


As the days of coronavirus quarantine turn into weeks and the prospect of months, we are getting stir crazy. I have come across several references to Blaise Pascal’s observation about the human inability to sit in a quiet room alone.

I’m a big fan of Pascal (1623-1632)–the mathematician, scientist, inventor of the calculator, and computer pioneer–who experienced a dramatic conversion to Christianity and became one of its great apologists. His approach was not to devise abstract arguments but to plunge into the depths of the human heart and how Christ alone can resolve our contradictions. (Pascal was a French Catholic, but he was a Jansenist, a movement that was close to that of the Reformation, which Rome condemned as a heresy.)

Here is the quotation along with its context. He is discussing how human beings have to have diversions, in order, he says, to avoid facing themselves, something that can lead them to recognize their need for God.

From PASCAL’S PENSÉES [that is, “Thoughts.”:

139
Diversion.—When I have occasionally set myself to consider the different distractions of men, the pains and perils to which they expose themselves at court or in war, whence arise so many quarrels, passions, bold and often bad ventures, etc., I have discovered that all the unhappiness of men arises from one single fact, that they cannot stay quietly in their own chamber. A man who has enough to live on, if he knew how to stay with pleasure at home, would not leave it to go to sea or to besiege a town. A commission in the army would not be bought so dearly, but that it is found insufferable not to budge from the town; and men only seek conversation and entering games, because they cannot remain with pleasure at home. . . .

Hence it comes that men so much love noise and stir; hence it comes that the prison is so horrible a punishment; hence it comes that the pleasure of solitude is a thing incomprehensible. And it is in fact the greatest source of happiness in the condition of kings, that men try incessantly to divert them, and to procure for them all kinds of pleasures.


The king is surrounded by persons whose only thought is to divert the king, and to prevent his thinking of self. For he is unhappy, king though he be, if he think of himself.
This is all that men have been able to discover to make themselves happy. And those who philosophise on the matter, and who think men unreasonable for spending a whole day in chasing a hare which they would not have bought, scarce know our nature. The hare in itself would not screen us from the sight of death and calamities; but the chase which turns away our attention from these, does screen us. . . .

Men seek rest in a struggle against difficulties; and when they have conquered these, rest becomes insufferable. . . .

Thus so wretched is man that he would weary even without any cause for weariness from the peculiar state of his disposition; and so frivolous is he, that, though full of a thousand reasons for weariness, the least thing, such as playing billiards or hitting a ball, is sufficient to amuse him.

Do you see his point? Those of you who are “sheltering in place,” practicing “social distancing,” and under “stay-at-home” orders, how are you handling this? Before you may have felt that you were too busy; now you “have time.” Is that working out for you, or would you rather be too busy again?



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luchnia
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Re: Too busy to be quiet?

Post by luchnia »

Certainly there is a variety of thoughts about this. I keep thinking about Paul's statement about being content in various states and his and others busy lifestyles. If anything, God's word shows a busyness about man that is important and part of God's design of man at least from my perception.

There is a time to be still and a time to be busy and probably important to recognize that. I don't get the thought from scripture that God intended for man to sit still for long and basically do nothing. I do question whether busyness should at least have purpose and meaning. Purposeless busyness seems a waste to me.

As for me, I am a homebody and not a runner, even though I am a very busy man and don't like to sit still for any length of time except when winding down for the day. I believe there is purpose driven busyness and busyness that has not much purpose, but for the sake of being busy.

As I get older I am often busy just for being busy and often not sure just how purposeful that is, but I think that has to do with my age because things I do don't seem to have the same meaning as they did when I was younger. When things mean less to us that degrades our perception of purpose. Hope that makes sense.


Word up!

Grandfather
Bless the Lord with All Thine Soul and Forget Not Who Forgiveth All Thine Iniquities
Posts: 975
Joined: Mon Apr 07, 2014 2:51 pm

Re: Too busy to be quiet?

Post by Grandfather »

luchnia wrote:
Fri Apr 24, 2020 6:49 am
There is a time to be still and a time to be busy and probably important to recognize that. I don't get the thought from scripture that God intended for man to sit still for long and basically do nothing. I do question whether busyness should at least have purpose and meaning. Purposeless busyness seems a waste to me.
I can only assume that you and I got different things out of the article. I agree with you there is a difference between being busy and being productive. Purposeless busyness as you call it. However, I suggest that there is a third option, a productive busy that does nothing to advance God's plans, purposes, and pursuits.

As I read the article I kept thinking of Psalm 46:10 "be still and know that I am God" or of God's command to Moses to stand still and see the deliverance of the Lord. Or even the Lord's words to Martha about Mary, in which case Martha was being productive, but there was something better yet to do.

In the typical Judeo-Christian work ethic there is the mindset that one must be doing something, they must be active. Like the article, I wonder how many believers take time to let the troubled waters of their soul settle to the full peaceful calm the Lord promises.



Hill Top
He that Receiveth a Prophet in the Name of a Prophet shall Receive a Prophet's Reward
Posts: 1703
Joined: Thu Aug 16, 2018 11:29 pm

Re: Too busy to be quiet?

Post by Hill Top »

Grandfather wrote:
Thu Apr 23, 2020 5:19 pm
Okay, this "Shelter in Place" order that most of the United States is under is causing some people to go a little "stir crazy." We are used to going, moving, changing locations. There can be a case made that we are so "go" oriented that we do not know how to sit and be still. While many, if not all, on this forum will make the claim that they spend countless hours studying God's word. The rest of the world is not that way. A recent survey showed that the vast majority who claimed to have a strong relationship with Jesus Christ spent less than 2 minutes a day reading His word.

With that said I read the following article.

Our Inability to Sit in a Quiet Room Alone
APRIL 3, 2020 BY GENE VEITH


As the days of coronavirus quarantine turn into weeks and the prospect of months, we are getting stir crazy. I have come across several references to Blaise Pascal’s observation about the human inability to sit in a quiet room alone.

I’m a big fan of Pascal (1623-1632)–the mathematician, scientist, inventor of the calculator, and computer pioneer–who experienced a dramatic conversion to Christianity and became one of its great apologists. His approach was not to devise abstract arguments but to plunge into the depths of the human heart and how Christ alone can resolve our contradictions. (Pascal was a French Catholic, but he was a Jansenist, a movement that was close to that of the Reformation, which Rome condemned as a heresy.)

Here is the quotation along with its context. He is discussing how human beings have to have diversions, in order, he says, to avoid facing themselves, something that can lead them to recognize their need for God.

From PASCAL’S PENSÉES [that is, “Thoughts.”:

139
Diversion.—When I have occasionally set myself to consider the different distractions of men, the pains and perils to which they expose themselves at court or in war, whence arise so many quarrels, passions, bold and often bad ventures, etc., I have discovered that all the unhappiness of men arises from one single fact, that they cannot stay quietly in their own chamber. A man who has enough to live on, if he knew how to stay with pleasure at home, would not leave it to go to sea or to besiege a town. A commission in the army would not be bought so dearly, but that it is found insufferable not to budge from the town; and men only seek conversation and entering games, because they cannot remain with pleasure at home. . . .

Hence it comes that men so much love noise and stir; hence it comes that the prison is so horrible a punishment; hence it comes that the pleasure of solitude is a thing incomprehensible. And it is in fact the greatest source of happiness in the condition of kings, that men try incessantly to divert them, and to procure for them all kinds of pleasures.


The king is surrounded by persons whose only thought is to divert the king, and to prevent his thinking of self. For he is unhappy, king though he be, if he think of himself.
This is all that men have been able to discover to make themselves happy. And those who philosophise on the matter, and who think men unreasonable for spending a whole day in chasing a hare which they would not have bought, scarce know our nature. The hare in itself would not screen us from the sight of death and calamities; but the chase which turns away our attention from these, does screen us. . . .

Men seek rest in a struggle against difficulties; and when they have conquered these, rest becomes insufferable. . . .

Thus so wretched is man that he would weary even without any cause for weariness from the peculiar state of his disposition; and so frivolous is he, that, though full of a thousand reasons for weariness, the least thing, such as playing billiards or hitting a ball, is sufficient to amuse him.

Do you see his point? Those of you who are “sheltering in place,” practicing “social distancing,” and under “stay-at-home” orders, how are you handling this? Before you may have felt that you were too busy; now you “have time.” Is that working out for you, or would you rather be too busy again?
I don't think the "stay at home" policy has affected me much at all.
Fortunately, most of my doings outside are all "essential", so the impact has amounted to eating in my truck instead of inside some restaurant.
Today was our first 100 degree day here in mid-Arizona, so even that minimal "outside" activity will lessen.
I've lost 1 MPG sitting in drive up window lines.... :arrow:



Grandfather
Bless the Lord with All Thine Soul and Forget Not Who Forgiveth All Thine Iniquities
Posts: 975
Joined: Mon Apr 07, 2014 2:51 pm

Re: Too busy to be quiet?

Post by Grandfather »

Hill Top wrote:
Sun Apr 26, 2020 11:26 pm
I don't think the "stay at home" policy has affected me much at all.
Fortunately, most of my doings outside are all "essential", so the impact has amounted to eating in my truck instead of inside some restaurant.
Today was our first 100 degree day here in mid-Arizona, so even that minimal "outside" activity will lessen.
I've lost 1 MPG sitting in drive up window lines.... :arrow:
I believe you missed the intent of the article. It had nothing to do with how "shelter in place" has impacted anyone, but instead about a person's ability to sit quietly with the Lord.



Hill Top
He that Receiveth a Prophet in the Name of a Prophet shall Receive a Prophet's Reward
Posts: 1703
Joined: Thu Aug 16, 2018 11:29 pm

Re: Too busy to be quiet?

Post by Hill Top »

Grandfather wrote:
Thu Apr 30, 2020 1:21 pm
Hill Top wrote:
Sun Apr 26, 2020 11:26 pm
I don't think the "stay at home" policy has affected me much at all.
Fortunately, most of my doings outside are all "essential", so the impact has amounted to eating in my truck instead of inside some restaurant.
Today was our first 100 degree day here in mid-Arizona, so even that minimal "outside" activity will lessen.
I've lost 1 MPG sitting in drive up window lines.... :arrow:
I believe you missed the intent of the article. It had nothing to do with how "shelter in place" has impacted anyone, but instead about a person's ability to sit quietly with the Lord.
It hasn't affected my life of prayer and study at all.
It has affected my ability to share what I believe with others, as they can't walk up to me while I have my bible out on the table at McDonald's or Wendy's, etc.



Grandfather
Bless the Lord with All Thine Soul and Forget Not Who Forgiveth All Thine Iniquities
Posts: 975
Joined: Mon Apr 07, 2014 2:51 pm

Re: Too busy to be quiet?

Post by Grandfather »

Hill Top wrote:
Thu Apr 30, 2020 3:05 pm
Grandfather wrote:
Thu Apr 30, 2020 1:21 pm
Hill Top wrote:
Sun Apr 26, 2020 11:26 pm
I don't think the "stay at home" policy has affected me much at all.
Fortunately, most of my doings outside are all "essential", so the impact has amounted to eating in my truck instead of inside some restaurant.
Today was our first 100 degree day here in mid-Arizona, so even that minimal "outside" activity will lessen.
I've lost 1 MPG sitting in drive up window lines.... :arrow:
I believe you missed the intent of the article. It had nothing to do with how "shelter in place" has impacted anyone, but instead about a person's ability to sit quietly with the Lord.
It hasn't affected my life of prayer and study at all.
It has affected my ability to share what I believe with others, as they can't walk up to me while I have my bible out on the table at McDonald's or Wendy's, etc.
Again you missed the point of the article.



Hill Top
He that Receiveth a Prophet in the Name of a Prophet shall Receive a Prophet's Reward
Posts: 1703
Joined: Thu Aug 16, 2018 11:29 pm

Re: Too busy to be quiet?

Post by Hill Top »

Grandfather wrote:
Fri May 01, 2020 10:16 am
Hill Top wrote:
Thu Apr 30, 2020 3:05 pm
Grandfather wrote:
Thu Apr 30, 2020 1:21 pm
Hill Top wrote:
Sun Apr 26, 2020 11:26 pm
I don't think the "stay at home" policy has affected me much at all.
Fortunately, most of my doings outside are all "essential", so the impact has amounted to eating in my truck instead of inside some restaurant.
Today was our first 100 degree day here in mid-Arizona, so even that minimal "outside" activity will lessen.
I've lost 1 MPG sitting in drive up window lines.... :arrow:
I believe you missed the intent of the article. It had nothing to do with how "shelter in place" has impacted anyone, but instead about a person's ability to sit quietly with the Lord.
It hasn't affected my life of prayer and study at all.
It has affected my ability to share what I believe with others, as they can't walk up to me while I have my bible out on the table at McDonald's or Wendy's, etc.
Again you missed the point of the article.
Perhaps you could provide a summation of the point of the article?
I thought I addressed it well.



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