“How we spend our days is how we spend our lives”- Annie Dillard
I remember having this quote taped near my light switch during one of my placements. I put it there as a constant reminder to ask the questions, How did I spend my time today? And did I live my day worthy to the calling I’ve received? Did I make the most of every opportunity that was presented? Did I love others in such a way that the world would be changed for the sake of the Gospel? Was I ready to give an answer for the hope that I experience everyday in season and out of season?
Even when I type those questions out, there is one main question that I am lacking. I think of all of those are great questions. They have become part of my normal reflections as I journal. But they all come out of a place of doing something for God. The main questions I should be asking first are: Am I in constant dialogue with my Father? Am I soaking in His presence and His love for me? Am I taking time just to be with Him.
It’s been raining here in England for what seems like forever. It’s been constant wet, constant grey, and heavy clouds seem like they want to empty themselves without pause or restraint. My window is cracked open tonight, and I can hear the drops as they hit the window from all different directions. It’s calming. It’s peaceful.
I am overwhelmed by all that is happening in the month of May this year. From school work, to youth work, to church work. When I look at it, all I can say is that it overwhelms me. Earlier this evening I sent some emails, mapped out on the calender when stuff needs to be prepped by, what needs to be turned in, meetings that need to take place. Organization, emails, these do not come naturally to me. I feel the release to know things are all going to run smoothly therefore I see the value in doing these things but equally I feel drained. I found myself getting frustrated very quickly and very ungrateful. I am becoming fed- up. In my frustration though, I walked upstairs to my room and started to recall the passage Mike shared with us yesterday.
“And in the morning, long before daylight, He got up and went out to a [u]deserted place, and there He prayed.” Mark 1:35
Much emphasis was placed on this particular verse and how Jesus gives us a model of what a rhythm of grace looks like. It then follows on to say that Jesus followed on from this communion with God into ministry. The order of this is key to remember.
Sometimes I don’t feel adequate or equipped enough to do the tasks set before me. I felt like this tonight and in those feelings, felt myself pause. I felt this urgency to stop what I was doing, let it rest, and just sit with God. I find it interesting that more often than not I want to get on with things and do them until they are complete, neglecting any sort of dependence on God in the process. When I felt this pursuit in my heart tonight, I didn’t fight it. I gave into it.
During this peaceful and precious moment with my God, I get a phone call. From a friend, from a sister from the states. I am reminded often of how close we are even though there is an ocean between us. The one things that always binds us together is our desire for intimacy with our Savior. Since the beginning we cut through the shallow and went straight to things of the heart. I feel full when I am with her, when I speak to her. In this moment, my longing for my connection with God was understood. What a gift this was.
I open the pages of a book that I am reading through and the chapter is called, “A sanctuary of time.” How convenient, how appropriate, and once again my heart becomes a sponge absorbing the words on the pages. Between scripture and the author, I am finding myself more settled.
“God gives us time. And who has time for God? What was the pastor’s most profound regret in life? They carry the wooden box across the graveyard. It’s the weight of regrets that weighs the coffin down. And I hear the answer of the pastor ring.
Being in a hurry, getting to the next thing without fully entering the thing in front of me. I cannot think of a single advantage I’ve ever gained from being in a hurry. But a thousand broken and missed things, tens of thousands, like in the wake of all the rushing. Through all the haste, I thought I was making up time. It turns out I was throwing it away.
In our rushing, bulls in china shops, we break our own lives.”
If how we spend our days ultimately leads to the sum totality of what makes up our lives, we have to ask the question then, How are we being with God today and everyday?
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=G1kXZ9yUXYI– “Stay”- Jimmy Needham