I’ve recently made the mistake of confusing laziness with stillness. While they may appear seemingly interchangeable, these terms are vastly different and hold contrasting levels of value. Laziness is noteworthy in it’s own way – vegging out on the couch and watching your favorite television show at the end of a day feels so good. Unfortunately, it’s also a numbing experience to the present. It mutes real-life and pulls you away from being able to recognize God’s voice. His get’s drowned out by the characters on TV and the two hundred items on your “to do” list.
Laziness: the quality of being unwilling to work or use energy; idleness. Refusing to use energy or conserving it in a negative way does not encourage us to passionately pursue what we are called to. It makes the days go too fast and leaves us feeling as though we didn’t accomplish enough. It’s an easy route because it takes no effort. Numbing your daily experience causes you to feel nothing and improve nothing about yourself.
Stillness: the absence of movement or sound. Laziness adds interruptions to our routine – stillness removes noise and action from a moment. Do you know how difficult that is by today’s standards? There are distractions everywhere we turn. It takes more effort to remove distractions from our life than to add them.
Do you know what it’s like to sit quietly with only your thoughts, without a device in front of you or music surrounding you? Just the quiet and God. We love being productive, so it feels as though we should be using our time in other ways – but this is the one guaranteed outlet where we can discern God’s voice. By removing any interruptions we can have a clear dialogue.
Many equate scrolling or binging a show to stillness with God. The reality is when we pull up our screens we put down God’s voice. Relying on another individual to be still and relay spiritual information to us will only carry us so far. God wants to build a personal relationship with you – not for you to obtain your faith from secondary sources. Being lazy creates a dependency on our screens as that secondary source. Growth doesn’t stem from having someone else take the exam for you, it comes from taking time to study and you taking it yourself.
Make time to be still and hear what God wants to say to you personally – put in the effort to remove distractions. From stillness comes wisdom. From laziness may come a great movie, but a day further away from understanding what your purpose is.