As I promised in my welcome post, I am keeping it real! Being intentional with my time and living in the moment is one of the hardest things for me to do. My mind is always in a hundred different places and I’m so hard on myself when I do not get things done. Its this horrible, vicious cycle of me struggling to “get ahead” and also enjoy time with my family and then feeling bad about not getting things done and when I work to get my list done, I feel guilty about not spending time with God and with my family-ahhh! Now anyone with a crazy schedule- kids, school, work, marriage- will know these struggles, too. So why do I feel so bad about myself when I can’t complete my checklist? I feel that I am not a good enough mother because I chose to do the dishes instead of play with Play-Doh with my son or I’m not a good enough wife because if I get a free minute, I fold the laundry instead of engage in conversations with my husband. I am writing about this today because it is probably one of my biggest struggles- if not my biggest- but it also is a recurring theme in Jesus’ teaching. Jesus understands our humanity because of His time spent on earth with us. We are reminded, constantly in the Bible to rest and take refuge in Him and if our time is spent with Him and for Him then our days become less chores and more blessings .
Jesus makes a point to explain this during His sermon on the mount. This was Jesus’ first big preaching opportunity and He made it a priority to teach about the importance of an intentional relationship with God. “(28)… Consider the lilies of the field, how they grow: they neither toil nor spin, 29 yet I tell you, even Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these. 30 But if God so clothes the grass of the field, which today is alive and tomorrow is thrown into the oven, will he not much more clothe you, O you of little faith? 31 Therefore do not be anxious, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear?’ 32 For the Gentiles seek after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them all. 33 But seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be added to you.34 “Therefore do not be anxious about tomorrow, for tomorrow will be anxious for itself. Sufficient for the day is its own trouble.” Consider the lilies… Seems simple right? These small flowers want for noting and all their needs are met by God. They just stand in their fields and flower beds and be beautiful, drinking in the sun and the rain as God intended. Surely I mean more to God than a flower?
Ok. So we’re not flowers, how will God take care of us? We have to go to the store and doctor appointments and as much as I’d like for it to happen, my house won’t clean itself! If we read through any of the stories of the Bible, we see time and time again how those who are faithful to the Lord are rewarded: Noah-survived the flood and repopulated the earth, Moses-led God’s people out slavery, and led them to the Promised Land, Abraham-descendants as numerous as the stars in the sky, Esther-saved her nation by faith in God, David-what wasn’t David blessed with? I’m sure there are more but the point is, that the world tells us if we want to be blessed we need to be busy but Jesus says otherwise. We were created for His glory and to glorify Him. He wants to spend dedicated, intentional time with us in prayer and fellowship and study. Now if you go back and read the passage again, Jesus is specific and says “seek FIRST the kingdom of God and His righteousness”, not ONLY. He understands that life still happens all around us but setting aside intentional time with God will help put it all in perspective and meditation on the Word helps us to realize the rich blessings from God already around us. He doesn’t ask us to stop being human or to never make a to-do list again but rather He asks us to make sure we are putting the right things on that list.
Especially today on the 19th anniversary of the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001, I want to encourage you to be intentional with your time. Time spent with God, time spent with family and friends and even time you take for yourself. God’s checklist looks much different from our own and He will love us even if we go to bed with dirty dishes in the sink.