My grandparents have had a plaque hanging in their room for as long as I can remember, and the quote on it has always stuck with me: “The hurrier I go the behinder I get.” Above the words is a picture of a man running, but there is a big hand behind him grabbing his shirt, holding him back.
I really, really hate being in a rush, but I get in a big hurry a good bit of the time. For instance: Do you ever have those mornings when your alarm goes off and you just want to roll back over and go back to sleep, say, for maybe a week? I’m bad to hit the “snooze” button. I’ll set my alarm 30 minutes early just so I can hit that button five or six times and “gradually wake up.” May not make much sense, and I know I’m ruining my sleep, but that’s just how I do it. Then when I do finally get up, I have to rush around to get ready for work in time. Gotta fix Hubby’s and my lunches, take a shower, do my hair, make a smoothie, grab my purse and lunch bag, run out to the car and head to work. All in what felt like just a matter of minutes.
I’ve done so much by 7 AM and yet I feel like I forgot something.
I didn’t forget to brush my teeth. I have my shoes on. I unplugged the flat iron and turned off the coffee maker. The dishwasher is loaded. What am I missing?
Oh, I know: I didn’t take time to read my Bible and spend some quiet time with my Creator.
Sure, I said “Thank You, Lord, for this day” before my feet even hit the floor this morning, and I whispered a prayer for Hubby’s safe travel to work, and I said thanks for my breakfast before I gobbled it down … but did that really take any extra time or thought? It’s just a regular part of my daily routine, and I don’t even have to make myself remember to pray; it’s just a habit, a normal part of my life that actually doesn’t take any real effort or time away from my day.
God doesn’t need prayer like we do, but He wants it, and so should we. C.S. Lewis said, “I pray because I can’t help myself. I pray because I’m helpless. I pray because the need flows out of me all the time– waking and sleeping. It doesn’t change God– it changes me.” God absolutely wants us to “pray without ceasing” (1 Thess. 5:17), but more than that, He wants us. He wants our time. He wants our all.
So, what about “making time” for God? Technically, we cannot “make time” for anything. God makes time; we merely use the bit we’re given. But how we use that borrowed time is what’s important. I’ll be the first to admit that I spend way too much time on the Internet. I check Facebook for messages and to read up on the “latest news.” I look up DIYs on Pinterest and then stay on there for way too long. Then I go to Instagram and post a picture or get up-to-date on everyone else’s foodies and selfies and so on. By the end of all that, I’ve spent 30 minutes with my eyes and brain glued to my phone. 30 minutes, just wasted. Sure, I may have caught up with an old friend on Facebook or gotten an idea for an outfit, or found a new recipe for supper, but what good did it really do me?
What else could I have been doing?
This year I started off strong, and was determined to finish strong: I was going to read my Bible every day, and finish it in a year. (I’ve always wanted to do that, and I confess I have never read the whole Bible beginning to end in one go.) I did read for several days, but then I got lazy. I let things get in the way; and I found myself doing other things instead.
And now it’s February already, and I didn’t get very far in my reading and I didn’t do near as much studying as I had planned and I’m in a hurry and I need to slow down and get my priorities straight! “For it is time to seek the LORD…” (Hos. 10:12b)
I’m going to challenge myself and I want to challenge you too. Let’s push ourselves, but not to the point we run out of energy and can’t go anymore … that’s not what I’m talking about. Let’s push ourselves to do better and dig deeper.
I’m going to try my best to read my Bible every morning. I’m not going to just do it when I find a few free minutes. I want to make it a priority, for it truly is a privilege to be able to sit and read God’s own word and pray to the very One who made me and loves me and calls me His child. “Be diligent to present yourself approved to God as a workman who does not need to be ashamed, accurately handling the word of truth.” (2 Tim. 2:15) “All Scripture is inspired by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, for training in righteousness; so that the man of God may be adequate, equipped for every good work.” (2 Tim. 3:16-17)
God is never too busy for me. When I want to talk to Him, He never says, “Oh, I don’t have time for you today; come back on Sunday morning when I’m ready to listen.” No, He is always patient and always ready to hear me. He never forsakes and is always there to help. We should desire more than anything to spend time with Him in prayer and study. “But seek first His kingdom and His righteousness…” (Mt. 6:33a)
If it means getting up a little (or even a lot) earlier than usual to take special time for God, I think I should do it. It’s time to slow down just a little bit and quit being in a hurry and just worship my God and study His word. “Then they arose early in the morning and worshiped the LORD…” (1 Sam. 1:19)
“Make your ear attentive to wisdom, incline your heart to understanding; for if you cry for discernment, lift your voice for understanding; if you seek her as silver and search for her as for hidden treasures; then you will discern the fear of the Lord and discover the knowledge of God. For the Lord gives wisdom; from His mouth come knowledge and understanding. He stores up sound wisdom for the upright; He is a shield to those who walk in integrity, guarding the paths of justice, and He preserves the way of His godly ones. Then you will discern righteousness and justice and equity and every good course. For wisdom will enter your heart and knowledge will be pleasant to your soul; discretion will guard you, understanding will watch over you.” (Proverbs 2:2-11)
Have a blessed day!