Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Too busy . . .

We continue to try and daily engage the Word of God through reading and interacting with the daily lectionary, which can be found here: http://gamc.pcusa.org/devotion/daily/2010/9/14/
This is going to be a short one today.  It is a crazy busy day for me and I have been playing catch-up all day and I haven't been winning that race, at all.  Having said that when I woke up this morning and thought about what I 'had' to do today there were two things that weren't 'absolute musts'.  The first was my training run, 6 miles that went out the window by 10:00am this morning.  I already knew that I didn't have the time to be able to get that in, and I am supposed to have a 'rest day' in training tomorrow, so I can just pick it up then.  The other thing that could be left undone without any noticeable consequences was my daily devotions and this blog.  Now, considering my vast readership on the blog -obviously there would have been riots in the streets and global chaos had I note wrote something today, but the daily devotions part I could skip without any consequence.
Wait a minute  . . . I think I might have that mixed up, at least a little bit.  And, of course in reality, my first thought was that there would be no real consequence to skipping both the reading of the lectionary and the blogging about it.
To shorten the story a little bit, we will cut to about 20 minutes ago, when as I was working hard at my long 'to do list' for today, I was struggling to concentrate and I kept thinking about trite phrases like, 'too busy not to pray' and stuff like that.  I kept thinking about how busy I was and how much I needed to get done, but I kept thinking about the fact I hadn't read the lectionary for today yet. I just couldn't get away from the thought that I really needed to be spending at least some time in relationship with God and time spent reading and studying his Word is one of the best ways to do that.  So I decided I would quickly do that readings and I would skip the blog and pick it up again tomorrow.
So, now here we are, I read the lectionary passages for today and nothing revolutionary happened, the skies didn't open deliver all my work completed and I heard no voice from heaven giving me clear and explicit instructions on how to proceed in all the areas I am trying to figure out.
But as I was closing up the lectionary passages for the day I did have one thought that I felt like I just had to share.  It was spurred on by the NT passage from Acts 16.  In the passage a few of the early Christian missionaries are travelling around spreading the Word of God and the good news of the Gospel.  And they try to go to a couple of different places but the text says, 'they were forbidden by the Holy Spirit to go there' or that the 'Spirit of Jesus would not let them enter  there'.  And it struck me that the only way to a relationship with God, where direction comes so clearly and directly is by devoting time, energy and commitment to that relationship.  These apostles of God, these followers of Jesus didn't make their plans, book their hotels, set off on their journeys to have a voice from heaven,  out of nowhere, tell them to stop and not enter as they reached the city gates.
No, instead, these followers of Christ had an open line of communication with God, they were - as Paul puts it - 'praying without ceasing'.  They didn't have to stop what they were doing to consult God, they were constantly open and listening to the Spirit of God speaking the will of God in their lives.  That is how, they knew when they were beginning to go somewhere God had not intended for them to go, that is how they knew when they were heading in the right direction and that is how God was able to use them so powerfully when they spoke to others about the saving love of Jesus Christ.
But here we are, often forgetting to 'involve' God in our lives at all and even more frequently only thinking to do so after we get ourselves into real trouble or need real help - after we have already entered into a place God had no intention of us going.
One of my 'tasks' today was meeting with the copier repairman at the church, so he could replace the drum in our copier.  He did, but has to come back tomorrow to put another new one in.  When I asked him why, he gave me the honest reason, saying that 'I was hurrying to get things done, not paying attention and I dented your new drum.'  He added, 'so of course, I didn't save any time (or money), because now I have to come back here tomorrow and do it all again.'
I wonder how much of our lives we have to 'do over', 'back track' or 'repeat' because we were too busy to be in relationship with God enough to know where we were really being called and where we weren't
So much for short and quick, but I felt like I needed to share that with you.

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