February 6, 2013

Bless the Lord Reason #15: He Gives Me a Choice

On Sunday, my pastor gave a sermon that really struck me.

He said that everyone nowadays is busy. It's why we don't have time for certain things. Specifically, spending time with God.

And to be honest, I thought, "Yeah. I am busy. I know God understands, though. I try. I try to be a good employee, and a good wife, and I try to exercise and plan healthy meals. And I try to hone the skills he gave me as a writer and a singer so I can bless others. I AM busy."

But then my pastor said this: "As busy as we all are, we make time for what we value."

Gulp.

I don't know why, but like I said--that just really struck me. Between the eyes.

Because life is a series of choices. We live it and it's possible that we sometimes get caught up in it. In the whirlwind of craziness and busyness and everything good and everything bad going on around us.

But in the end, we really do live it based on our priorities, whether they're conscious or not.

If that's true, then that means I really don't value God and my time with Him. Not if I'm basing my time on what I value.

And then my pastor said this: "We are shaped by what we think about."

When I think about this, I'll be honest...I get so overwhelmed. I start to feel like life is conquering me instead of me conquering it. Like this nebulous thing called busyness is taking over my life and I can't control it. Like the person I want to be can't possibly ever exist because there's just too much "stuff" going on.

But then, my pastor said this: "We are the determiners of what we value and what we think about."

Oh.

God gives us a choice. He gives me a choice every day: what will I value? He nudges me gently, asking me, "Lindsay, what are you going to value today? Me or the television? Me or that book? Me or your writing? Me or your friends?"

See, not all of those things are bad. Not at all. Reading and television are ways to rest, and we need rest sometimes. My writing is not bad in and of itself, but it is if it becomes an idol. Friendships are Heaven-sent, necessary for my sanity.

But none of those things should trump my time with God.

If I start to value ANY of those things--good or bad--more than I value Him, then yes...my life is going to be filled to the brim with craziness and busyness and a tornado of turmoil. Because when I'm not spending time with Him, my path isn't straight. My head can't be clear. My emotions take over.

But you know what? I love that He gives me a choice in the matter.

It's scary, to be sure. To know that I determine what I value. To know that I'll likely screw up my priorities time and again.

But to know also, that in choosing Him, I have a way to please Him. I have a way to make sure my life is focused, and purposeful. A clear path toward the light.

And when I do mess up and focus on the wrong thing--letting the bad or the not-as-good-as-they-could-be things--that makes coming home and correcting my focus all the sweeter.

Your Turn: Do you find it true that what you think about shapes you?

*Photo courtesy of freedigitalphotos.net

6 comments:

  1. Sure, I'm certainly shaped by what I spend time thinking about. Writing can "suck you in" and take a lot of my "free thought" time. It's a balancing act. Sometimes I'm off kilter, but I keep fighting the good fight, running this race.

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  2. Absolutely yes! I'm definitely shaped by what's going on in my head...makes me think of that verse, "Whatever is pure, whatever is holy...etc...think on these things." And yeah, it's awesome that we get a choice. God doesn't barge his way into our heads or hearts...but when we open up both to His constant presence, it really does make all the difference. It's a daily--probably hourly--choice, isn't it?

    Loved this today, Linz!

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  3. Great post, Lindsay.

    Too true. I'm completely guilty of getting lost in the busyness of life. We're not alone in this though and must hold each other accountable to refocus. Have a great day girl!

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  4. I say this every week in my Forward class. We always make time for the things we want to do. in re: digging in the Word. I totally believe this. What we spend most time on and think on shapes us.

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  5. My hubby and I have been talking a lot about this issue lately. He values certain things, I value certain things, together we value things - and all of it takes up our time. As our little ones are getting bigger, we're trying to figure out how to fit in all the things we value with the things they value, so God doesn't get lost in the shuffle. It's going to require sacrifice on all our parts - but I think the most important thing is that we're conscious of it and we're working on a plan.

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  6. What is that saying? "What goes in to the mind comes out in the life"

    Simple. And oh so difficult.

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