Struggling to Spend the Time
“This Book of the Law shall not depart from your mouth, but you shall meditate on it day and night, so that you may be careful to do according to all that is written in it. For then you will make your way prosperous, and then you will have good success.” (Joshua 1:8)
Wow! Some days my time just evaporates. I'm up before dawn, shower, have an energy bar and coffee, commute, work, stop at the dry cleaners, pick up dinner, eat dinner, do dishes, meet with someone at church, do some laundry, talk with the wife and kids and check on parents. Am I the only parent who finds that it’s a constant battle, a struggle to spend the limited time I have alone with God?
It’s really hard, harder than it should be. It’s easier to sit on the couch and catch a few minutes of the local news then pick up one of my mobile devices and re-check my e-mails, Facebook and Twitter. It’s much easier for me to find the time to walk the dog, workout, catch a movie, re-arrange a closet or clean up the house. It’s more gratifying to do something that provides me with immediate and visible results, or something that actually entertains me or distracts me from life…than to go read the bible.
Problem is, when I go more than a day or two without spending some time in the word, without being alone with God, I start to wilt. Like a plant that goes a bit too long in the sun without being watered. I’m still there, kind of green on the outside, but weak and droopy. If I don’t re-immerse myself in the living water of God’s word I start to get dry and brittle, not to mention Irritable, short-tempered and inflexible.
Joshua reminds us: don’t let this word of God depart from us, it should be all around us, in us… until we learn to abide. I’m learning that spending time with God is not only a dedicated time each day, but a constant re-focusing of my mind and heart throughout the day. To remember the Bible verse that encouraged me somehow in my last reading, to hang onto the key thought my pastor shared on Sunday that I know was just for me… this effort of the mind to reconnect with Him all through my day is as legit a time with God as much as breaking out a thick journal and study the Bible on the kitchen table.
So, today on my way to work, instead of a Fox news broadcast with the latest in political scuttlebut, I tuned in a Christian radio station and listened as Chuck Swindoll encouraged me to never compromise. I took the extra three minutes to read my e-bible.com verse out of my email in-box and shared it online. When I get home tonight, I will take 15-20 minutes somewhere before I fall asleep to read the word, not because I should, or have to, but because without it, I can’t survive.
“Blessed is the man who walks not in the counsel of the wicked, nor stands in the way of sinners, nor sits in the seat of scoffers; but his delight is in the law of the Lord, and on his law he meditates day and night. He is like a tree planted by streams of water that yields its fruit in its season, and its leaf does not wither. In all that he does, he prospers…” (Psalm 1:1-3 (ESV))
I’m not able to negotiate anymore with my personal time and God time, I‘m going to make every effort to blend them into one. I don’t think we were ever meant to live outside of His presence, that’s why it’s so hard for me/us to segregate our faith during the day and then try to re-engage with God later. It’s not natural and it's way too hard to try to raise our kids well, stay in a healthy marriage and struggle to make a difference in the world we live in all on our own. So let’s not.