Wednesday, October 7, 2009

"Take time to be holy, speak oft with thy Lord;
Abide in Him always, and feed on His Word.
Make friends of God’s children, help those who are weak,
Forgetting in nothing His blessing to seek."

As I have been preparing for "Flourish" this old hymn has stuck in my mind. It ties in with some of the material I have been thinking about and preparing. We are all so busy these days. Busy with work, busy with children, busy with relationships, busy with ministry, busy with... the list is endless. I am struck by how often our modern Christian culture encourages us to be busy in ministry, yet how little time we spend encouraging each other to be holy... to "speak oft with thy Lord". A cursory glance of the devotional materials in your local Christian bookshop will demonstrate this amply for a start... the range of "5 minute devotions" or "devotions for busy mums" or "the busy woman's devotional" books are endless. In fact you have to search quite hard to find anything that has much depth, promotes time with the Lord, or challenges your thinking to any great depth.

A book I have been reading put this quite graphically. "In my workroom, I have two identical jars. One is three-fourths full of sand. The other contains fist-sized rocks. The jar of sand represents my activities on any given day: to do lists, shopping, community projects, painting, cleaning. The list is as... endless as, well... grains of sand. The other jar containing the rocks represents what God wants me to do on any given day: spend time with Him, study His Word, and pray.

If I fill the jar with large rocks first, then, amazingly, I can pour all the sand into the same jar and it fits nicely around the spaces and crevices. However, if I begin by filling the jar with sand and then try to squeeze the rocks into the same jar, they won't fit.

Likewise, if I start my day spending time with God (the rocks), everything else (the sand) seems to fall into place. If I spring out of bed and hit hte floor running to tackle all the tasks that I feel are so necessary for the day, somehow my time with the Lord just never seems to fit in." ("A Woman's Secret to a Balanced Life" by Lysa TerKeurst and Sharon Jaynes)

It's so often true, isn't it. We often spend more time wondering how we are going to spend time with the Lord, growing holiness, than actually spending time with Him. Our generation is all about quick fixes, speedy connections, instant service. God just doesn't work like that. He takes time to carefully craft our lives, shaping us into the people he wants us to be... a holy, royal priesthood. I wonder what changes we need to make in our priorities in order to spend time with the King?

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