The longer I live the more I realize how much I overanalyze things. I think author Jon Acuff alluded to the fact earlier that he struggles with the same thing, and he’s writing about that in the book he’s working on. I can’t wait to read it. I write that last sentence, and guess what I did? I over thought it. Today’s Jesus Calling was about the time factor we all face, and it basically said to trust God when it comes to the 24 hour time segment we all function under.
Proverbs 3.5-6 comes to mind when I type those words.
Trust in the LORD with all your heart, and do not rely on your own insight. In all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make straight your paths. (NRSV)
That’s easy to blog, but it’s not so easy to do. Yesterday while our daughter was away we ordered a pizza for dinner. I intentionally left my phone alone and sat out on the porch to wait for Carey and the pizza man to arrive. I sat here watching the trees sway in the wind and I listened to the birds talk to each other. Being intentional about “rest” is important and reflecting on it emphasizes it in my mind’s eye. This is just me, but yesterday as I tried to write I was also listening to music, and unless that music is classical I don’t do as good of a job when I’m listening to music. Ideally I like it silent. You might be completely different, and that’s ok, but don’t beat yourself up over the simplicity of your mind if you’re like me. Sometimes like I’m doing right now I’ll type a sentence or paragraph, and then I look up into the backyard to ponder what I just wrote.
The subject of prayer just entered my thinking, and I learned from one of my major professors in grad school that Habakkuk talks about our conversations and thoughts being prayer to God. I’m sure you’re familiar with 1 Thessalonians 5 where it encourages us to pray continually, and when I learned that about Habakkuk it changed how I viewed 1 Thessalonians. As a preacher’s son I’ve been guilty of irreverence, and I repent when that happens because I know there have been people killed on the spot by God for doing that, but more than that my love for my Father drives me to respect Him. My point, however, is that I’m liberal when it comes to prayer. Sometimes I sense out the situation in a public place of breaking bread if a public display of prayer is appropriate. Sometimes at home we don’t even “pray” before we break bread. Whether or not that’s right or wrong is not the point. The point is that the Father is in constant communion with His children. I’m not justifying sin when it happens, but I am saying we must extend prayers of mercy to ourselves and others when religion gets in the way of His presence. Prayer and Scripture are powerful, and if we’re not careful we can treat them like the latest sitcom or drama episode we consume on any given night after work.
Back to my original subject on time. Time is a precious thing we can never retrieve, but once again the Father is LORD over time, and just like all things we experience as humans time is not beyond His redemption. I might think I wasted time on the porch waiting for my wife and dinner, but that false accusation brought me nearer to the Father as I watched and listened to the real-time art of wind and foreign language of the foul.
I was intentional about making coffee, sitting down with Jesus Calling and my Bible, but in God’s time economy His encouragement is 24/7. Don’t ignore it. Be observant. Forgive those who hurt you as you drive along. Turn off the radio or iPhone playlist and pray out loud in your vehicle. Pray healing upon those in your circle of influence who are fighting anxiety, cancer and depression, and pray angels surround those you love.
Our world is rushing around like a chicken with it’s head cut off, and for them they think that if they go faster and faster that they are somehow safer and more successful. I’m just not sure that’s the case. I’m not arguing for laziness and fear, but I am asking us to look at our lives differently.
Take a fast from your phone. Turn the computer off and sit outside. Hustle when you have to hustle because there are times when that has to happen, but when you can sit and do nothing do it. God longs for us to enter His rest. He wants us to feel His light shine upon us when we are at rock bottom, but He doesn’t force us to do that.
We have to seek Him. He doesn’t just show up and demand our attention. He’s always present wanting us to seek Him.
May He alone be glorified.