Basketball coach and hall-of-famer John Wooden blesses us with an opportunity to evaluate our lives by challenging us with the following statement: Don’t mistake activity for achievement. Often we busy ourselves with things in order to make ourselves feel as if we are accomplishing something. Many times God gives us free time to spend with Him and what do we do? We fill it with busy work.
It’s easy in this economy to fool yourself. What I mean by that is this… if you find yourself out of work (which was me for a long period of time) it’s natural to try to do things that don’t actually need to be done. Washing the car three times a week isn’t accomplishing anything. Neither is reorganizing your sock drawer. I know these are silly examples but you’d be surprised at the things you’ll do when you find yourself with hours of free time. There are only so many job applications and classifieds to search through and fill out. At some point when you are idle you’ll ask yourself “what can I do to feel useful”.
The answer should be easy. Our purpose and identity is in Christ. When we need to feel useful we need to turn to God. Get on your knees or go to your prayer closet it start praising God. Some of you that may be reading this are injured, laid up in your house most of the day (I know a couple for sure) unable to do anything but watch TV and cruise around the world wide interweb (my favorite term for the internet). How many times during your day are you bored to tears? You can only watch so many episodes of Friends or Law In Order before you have a TV headache. God wants your free time. He really does. He is longing to spend special moments with you.
A preacher once told of his days working in the green mills of Canada. He pushed logs all day, cutting and skinning. He injured himself on the job and had 9 months off (paid injury leave, gotta love God for that!). He made the decision that every moment he would have spent at work was going to be devoted to God. He admitted that it started off slow; but steadily he went from a half an hour to an hour to 3 hours to 6 hours and finally he made it to 8 hours a day in prayer. Imagine how close you’d get to God if you were able to spend 8 hours in communion with him? Remember when you first fell in love (those of you who have been there) and you just wanted to spend every waking moment with that person. For me, I remember it clearly… I’m still there. I’d love to spend every moment with my wife. I just love being in the same room as her. We don’t even have to be talking or sharing, just to be with each other is all I need. I love it! That’s how we should be with God.
That’s how God is with us. What if my wife only gave me 10 minutes a day? How hurt would I be? How neglected would I feel? This isn’t a guilt trip. I’m not trying to make you feel bad for not spending time with God. I’m just trying to remind all of us… me included… that God is there waiting to talk to you.
Set aside some time today to spend alone with God. No music, no company; just you and the Lord. Let yourself fall in love all over again.