Getting Rid of Distractions by Todd Rutherford

Fred Bittner’s The God Whisper reminds us that we fill our lives with meaningless activities, making it impossible to commune with God, and urging us to find quiet time to listen to God. He asks us, “Do you have a time in your day when you can sit down with God and listen?” calling attention to the fact that we fill our calendars with appointments, free time, and household duties, leaving no time to build a relationship with God. In a world full of distractions, to-do lists, and trying to accomplish insurmountable tasks, very few of us leave the time necessary to listen to God.

Bittner calls attention to the fact that in the midst of our frantic business and filling the remaining time with “constant noise and visual stimulus” of television and other entertainment gadgets, “numbing our minds from the worries of the day,” God wants to communicate with us, yet is unable to reach us. It is regrettable that even in prayer, we treat it as though it is another item to cross off of our to-do lists; “When we do take the opportunity to pray, we do all of the talking, plowing through our prayer list so that we can move on to the next item on our calendar.” He asks us, “if we are doing all of the talking, what chance does God have to commune with us?” reminding us that being able to sit quietly, listen, and read scripture is essential to building our relationships with God.

He reminds us, “We cannot be faithful to the Lord with our attention on every distraction that comes our way.” Using the example of training a dog as a metaphor to underline his theme, he asserts, “The only way for a dog to act faithfully toward his or her master is to develop the ability to tune out all other distractions and maintain their focus.” It is the same with our faith, necessary to tune out the distractions around us and find focus to commune with God and build strong relationships with Him.

In a world that is filled with distractions, Bittner is the guide to developing quiet time and communing with God. The God Whisperer enriches lives by providing accessible metaphors for the teachings of the Bible and disciplines necessary for the development of faith and obedience to God. The world is filled with people trying to accomplish the impossible, and reach unrealistic goals as though they were super-humans, rather than focusing on becoming super-followers of God.

Any reader can relate to Bittner’s assertion that we fill our lives with meaningless tasks, as there are few among us who can say that we regularly prioritize God above work, errands, leisure activities, and household chores. Bittner helps us to find a way to put God at the center of our lives, rather than focusing on ways to cross Him off our lists-as a task accomplished. God relishes the time that we spend with Him, communing with us as well as providing direction for our faith and our lives.

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