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Summary: The importance of taking time for God in our hectic culture.

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Beware of Americanitis

Ps 46:10: "Be still, and know that I am God.”

Because of her arrival at a railroad station, a lady had but five minutes to make connection with an outgoing train. As she ran toward the train, a Pullman car porter waved her to slow down and said, “Lady, you better take it easy or you are going to come down with Americanitis.” “What’s that?” gasped the lady. “I can’t tell you what it is, but I can tell you how it acts; Americanitis is running up an escalator!”

Have you ever seen anyone running up an escalator? Sure you have. Perhaps you have been guilty of it yourself–trying to catch that plane or get to that interview.

So many of us are getting nowhere fast! Like ants disturbed on an anthill, we scurry hither, thither and yon. Taut nerves are snapping, and over-wrought minds are cracking, with the result that there are more mental patients in hospitals than any other kind.

“Be still and know that I am God!” “In returning and rest shall you be saved; In quietness and in confidence shall be your strength” (Isaiah 30:15).

But Lord, its so hard to be still with all that’s happening in our world. The information highway beckons to me; she lures me to her side with promises of news, current events, politics, entertainment, sports, weather, and a whole host of other facts. Its important that I stay up-to-date and improve my scope of knowledge, isn’t it?

“Be still and know that I am God.”

But Lord, this is a fast-paced society. We have to keep up or we will be left behind. There are schedules to keep, deadlines to meet, projects to complete. The prize is always to the swift. Everyone wants it ASAP. In fact, they want it yesterday. The pressure is on to produce in record time. You understand, don’t You, Lord?

“Be still and know that I am God.”

But Lord, how can one be still when the world is so filled with constant racket? Highway noise, sirens, car stereos, television, crying babies, telephones, cell phones, factory whistles, clocks, lawn mowers, chain saws, barking dogs. There is no end of clamor. Even nature offers no help for there is always the distant sound of modern society and/or the call of the wild.

“Be still and know that I am God.”

I wish I had more time for You, Lord, but the demands are great. There is so much to do. The church needs my gifts of service. My boss expects me to finish that project. My spouse wants me to devote more time to our relationship. My children want me to help them with their school work. And beside all of this, I need to take time to care for my body–exercise is important, isn’t it?

“Be still and know that I am God.” In the midst of teaching, healing, traveling, and preaching, Jesus never allowed the pace of life to deter Him from spending time with His heavenly Father. Mark wrote, "In the morning, having risen a long while before daylight, He went out and departed to a solitary place; and there He prayed" (Mark 1:35).

“Be still and know that I am God.”

I am so tired, dear God. My strength is sapped, my energy depleted. The demands upon my time have left me weak and numb. I can’t think straight. A quiet time is the last thing I am interested in, even thought I know it is the very thing I most need. After I have rested, I promise to get alone with You. You do understand, don’t You, Lord?


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