Back in June 2003, I rode to and from a Sunday night church service and potluck with a friend, his wife, and preschool-age son. (For those who don't know, my mom either had to work or was taking care of my oldest sister, and my other sister and brother-in-law, who normally would have given me a ride, had something else to do.) As soon as we got in the car to leave the church building, the little boy asked his dad some random question; I believe it was, "Daddy, is it Christmas yet?" Instead of answering the kid's question, my friend told his son, "You're on quiet time right now!" He later said that, at the potluck, his son had been "running around like a chicken with its head cut off!" I hadn't been around little kids very much, as I never had any younger siblings, so I had never heard of being "on quiet time"; even though I wasn't on it myself, I was still afraid to say anything. The kid didn't even obey his father; he was taking whatever he could reach from his car seat and throwing it around. Before I got dropped off at my house, my friend did say something to me, and we did chat a bit, which made me feel...well, a bit calmer.
|This is just one audio Bible I use!|
|Yes, and for far too long!|
I'm convinced one reason teens aren't hearing from God the way they want to is that He's being drowned out by electronic media. It's not just that the volume is turned up too loud; it's the sheer amount of hi-tech noise consuming adolescents' attention. That includes entertainment that contradicts God's Word. How can we expect to hear His "still, small voice" amid the cacophony of culture? The din has become, like the stone, an obstacle.
Teens will find that there's a price involved in removing it. They'll need to give up some of their precious noise. It could mean turning off the iPod, letting the TV or computer go dark, silencing a video game, or limiting their availability to take cell calls and text messages. It's a sacrifice. But as King David declared in 2 Samuel 24:18-25, the only true sacrifice is one that costs us something.
The Lord is as interested as ever in revealing Himself to young people. In using them. In giving them direction. If your teen wonders why God feels distant, it might be that He's waiting for them to move an obstacle so that He can do something miraculous.
When that article was written, I was a teen, and I saw it, but thought nothing of it. Now that I'm older and more mature, I realize that the writer of that article was right.