This year has been and continues to be amazing and awe inspiring all rolled in one. Recently I learnt something from a friend and I sense the need to share it as a story.
Over the years, Chi has been a great source of encouragement to many. She has sent out messages and devotionals as instructed and many have been blessed including me. God has used her in ways that even she could never know because not everyone shares what they have learnt and how this connection to the Word has helped them grow. However, through the years there have been seasons when the list is totally stopped and a new one started. This hasn’t happened a few times, rather it has happened over and over and she has learnt to follow instruction. Often the recipients don’t realise there has been a shift until she stops sending the messages. Additionally, few ask what has happened or why the shift. Lol!!! It just struck me that you cannot ask why a shift has happened if you aren’t even aware it has happened.
I found this puzzling because of several things:
- She shared the word of God
- People were blessed and encouraged
- There is need for such circulation
However, understanding came slowly and deeply. I remembered the words of Solomon in Ecc 3:1-8 that say:
1To everything there is a season, A time for every purpose under heaven:
2 A time to be born, And a time to die;
A time to plant, And a time to pluck what is planted;
3 A time to kill, And a time to heal;
A time to break down, And a time to build up;
4 A time to weep, And a time to laugh;
A time to mourn, And a time to dance;
5 A time to cast away stones, And a time to gather stones;
A time to embrace, And a time to refrain from embracing;
6 A time to gain, And a time to lose;
A time to keep, And a time to throw away;
7 A time to tear, And a time to sew;
A time to keep silence, And a time to speak;
8 A time to love, And a time to hate;
A time of war, And a time of peace.
We are custodians of the gifts God has given us that include life. So we must learn to live as such.
In this walk we call life we have all made choices to be busy and unavailable or flexible and able to make time. We find time to do many things from working (which is mandatory) to hanging out to reading, watching TV and many other things but we often say we don’t have enough time to spend searching out the Word and other writings or even listening to life changing messages. So we get used to receiving from others and the word of encouragement they have to send out. Sending out encouraging words isn’t bad in any way but let’s be honest with ourselves and admit that at times we get too lazy to seek out personal revelation because we have options to get it from somewhere else. We begin to rely on these other sources more and more and get less and less directly from the loving heart and arms of Papa himself.
Another angle struck me…how many of us have subscribed to one devotional or daily reading site? How many of us actually read the full content as it is sent and really interact with it and then compare it with the Word? Or do we just feel good to receive it, speed read it in the notion that at least there is some word getting into our souls and then rush out to the busyness that we call life? Is what we are receiving in the way of encouragement actually beneficial to us or are we just placating our consciences? (this also applies to all the other sites we have subscribe to for personal and professional growth…how many can you really need to read in a day?)
A few things struck me and stayed with me after that conversation and I am still mulling over them today:
- Could it be that I am lying to myself about the amount of time have in a day when I say I don’t have time to delve deep into the Word of God yet I have time to watch different series and reality shows on telly, news, read papers and have extended coffee dates?
- Could it be that I am abdicating my personal responsibility to dig deep into the Word and presence of God and seek understanding?
- How many devotionals to I really need to subscribe to so that I will be able to read, interrogate, cross check and really apply in my life?
- How can I create time in my day to get closer and deeper into the Word of God and the realities of the world He has created?
- Am I relying on people so much that if they received an instruction from Papa to quit sending the information to me I would be unable to find it?
So I decided to take clear action and make personal progress every day. I chose baby steps daily, but steps all the same. My choices have majorly addressed the need to create time to listen to, read and connect to the word of God and messages from his servants. It involved:
- Changing what I do in the car meaning what stations or messages I listen to and for how long.
- Going through my online subscriptions and determining what adds value now with the knowledge I can change preferences later.
- Assessing what I watch on TV and how much and making the needed adjustments.
- Monitoring the amount of time spent on social media and the value I give while on and derive from others.
Every area of my life has had to come into sharp focus and changes been instituted. I have realised that it is a daily realignment of my actions to stay true to what in my new normal. Every day I am more aware of the hand of God at work in me and those around me and I am more fulfilled.
What do you have to do to move from where you are to where you know God wants you to be? Take just one step every day and life will never be the same.
[ The Fellowship of the Believers ] They devoted themselves to the apostles’ teaching and to fellowship, to the breaking of bread and to prayer.
Photo courtesy of Umani Springs