The band played and I closed my eyes and listened as the lyrics washed over my soul. Each Sunday finds us in this church auditorium, hands raised, hearts aligned, and lives laid down. Then each Monday finds us jumping back into the race of life and to-do lists.
It’s been too long since I’ve last written. Busy only allows for busier and I’ve bought the lie that somehow this over-booked schedule is some sort of goal to attain.
Last Sunday morning I was finally able to articulate to my husband what I’ve been feeling:
We prayed about this while we were still in Haiti. Go back to our shared blog (http://brian.ferguson.pw/) and read our hearts and you’ll know that this busy, mis-focused lifestyle was exactly what we wanted to avoid. In fact, our most previous post titled “Don’t Get Soft” was exactly about what I’m writing today.
It’s been 3 months since we returned to the United States. It’s taken less than 3 months for us to fall back into the routines and patterns of everyday America.
I don’t say this to claim it’s wrong or sinful to be American, be busy, have nice things, or enjoy the comforts our culture allows. I do say this to make clear that when the time we spend in communion with Christ (in prayer, reading the Word, and meditating on Scripture or God’s holiness) is bumped down a few pegs in order to allow more time for comforts (such as television, going out, and yes, even good things like spending time with family), we can know we have created an imbalance.
I can enjoy all of these things and more, but when I substitute good things for time I would usually spend with Christ, the natural repercussion is an imbalance.
For those of you who know us and stay updated with us, you may look at our lives and be surprised to read these words. We serve in ministry, regularly attend church, spend time in prayer, read our bibles, and give of our time and resources. But this life is not about checklists and spiritual to-dos. This life is about the condition of our hearts and dieing to ourselves. After all, isn’t the heart what God examines (1 Samuel 16:7)?
And if I’m being honest about the condition of my heart, I could summarize it in one word: Longing.
My heart longs for more of God and for more of the things of God. My heart longs for more time spent in awe of Him and meditating on His glory. My heart longs for the Presence of Christ to permeate every thought and interaction I have.
I don’t want to fill my schedule with more to-dos, more items to check off, or even more service opportunities if my heart isn’t fully aligned with God and my first priority isn’t time with God.
I don’t want more good things of this life if my life isn’t saturated with the good things of Christ.
My first choice must be Christ. I, like John, must daily be willing to say, “He must increase, but I must decrease” (John 3:3).
This life must be less about me and more about Christ. And the more my life is about Christ, the more my life will find its perfect balance.
What about you friends? What areas of your life do you find you are giving more of yourself to than to Christ? What things do you know you could rearrange or perhaps even eliminate in order to spend more time with your Perfect Creator? What are some ways you can become more aware of His Presence and spend more quality time in His Presence?
My challenge for you is not to go and spend 30 minutes in prayer or even 5 minutes in prayer. I don’t believe in putting numbers to a relationship that demands our all. I do believe in acknowledging the holiness of our Almighty God and falling in worship of Him wherever we are. I don’t challenge you spend a few extra minutes in your morning praying so you can check that off. I challenge you to ask God for more of Him and to fall in love again with the Savior you once were so enamored with. This, I believe, is a challenge worth saying “yes” to. This, I believe, is worth giving our lives to.
I want you to know dear friend that if you are reading this you can know you are being prayed for. I pray God highlights areas of your life where you’ve stopped surrendering to Him. I pray you are able to recognize any imbalance that may be in your life. I pray you fall more in love with your Savior and desire more of Him. I pray your heart longings are more for the things of Christ than the things of this world.
“But may all who seek you rejoice and be glad in you; may those who love your salvation say continually, “Great is the Lord!” – Psalm 40:16
“Don’t collect for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy and where thieves break in and steal. But collect for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust destroys, and where thieves don’t break in and steal. For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also…But seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things will be provided for you.” – Matthew 6:19-21,33