As I sit here in bed next to my wife who is asleep, I remembered that I have not made a post in a week or so. It is not that I haven’t wanted to, it is just finding the time. This has been a very busy week. My brother has visited us this week and now one of my sisters in Christ is visiting. In between visits is cleaning and catching up on work that I put off while people visit. Along with the work I put off are the trips to doctors that were scheduled for the family and visits to parishioners in the hospitals. Lets just say that it has been a busy week. Now it is midnight on Saturday night and this is when I decide to write a post. Well I guess if that is the time that fits, then do it.It seems time is a precious commodity these days. Time rules our days and nights. We live by our schedule and now that calendars are on our phones, computers, tablets, and now watches it is pretty easy to schedule every minute of our day, even down to when we can spend time with family, friends, and God. I find this very stressful. Having my day planned out to the minute where our relationships must be scheduled seems unhealthy. When did we get so busy? Has time become our god? I started this blog to possibly help others and myself to follow Jesus better. Now just a month into it I stress out because I have not posted enough. This of course causes writers block so that writing seems impossible. It seems really hard to have time as the thing that dictates my life. Does time control you too much?
This Wednesday, Feb. 10, begins the season of Lent that most churches observe. Lent is a season in which we focus on our discipleship and relationship with God. It is a time to become self-aware of the hindrances we have that keep us from having a deeper devotion to our Lord and Savior. Usually it is a season of fasting and prayer. We remember our deep need for God, remembering that without God nothing exists. As we fast and pray we join Jesus as He fasted and prayed in the desert as He was tempted. By fasting we reveal Jesus’ purpose and attitude because just as Christ humbled Himself by giving up His life for us, we give up the essentials in our life to join Him in His humility. For this reason we generally a practice fasting from something in your life. Not just anything, but something that has become essential to your daily life. Food is a great example of what to fast. Although I have fasted from TV, I mostly choose a food or drink that I probably believe I cannot live without. This year Jessica and I have decided to fast from products made with flour and potatoes.
I have always struggled with fasting because it is hard to give up something that you believe is essential to your daily life. Also sometimes, at some point I would break my fast on accident (maybe on purpose, don’t tell anyone). I still struggle with fasting, but I know that it is needed in my life. The more I practice it the more it helps in my journey with Christ. Fasting is a great discipline to remind you that you need God in every aspect of your life, which is why I find it interesting that it has been a recent practice to add something to your life rather than fasting during Lent. For example some people add more time at a local food bank, or more time in prayer, or more time at church, or more time reading scripture, or more time with family… When did time become the focus of Lent? Lent is not about adding things to our already busy schedule, it is about looking at the distractions in our lives which have become sins that keep us away from God. Maybe it is time to fast from time controlling our lives.
The creation story in Genesis 1 is one of the best descriptions of God’s character. God is someone who is infinitely busy. You would think that God would never have any time to spare. Yet on the seventh day God rested. God stepped back, looked at His creation and gave a huge *sigh* of relief and decided to rest. He wanted to enjoy His great creation. Jesus said, “Come to me, all you who are struggling hard and carrying heavy loads, and I will give you rest.” Maybe it is time for you to find rest. Maybe this Lent should be a time to find rest in God. To put away your schedule, to stop trying to add more and more stuff to your daily lives. Maybe it is time for you to stop stressing over what needs to be done and start enjoying what has been done for you. Maybe it is time to decide which god to follow. A god who demands that every second of your life needs to be filled with something to do. Or a God who calls you to rest and find joy and relief.
I pray that in this season of Lent you find rest and relief from your sins and burdens. I pray that in this season of Lent God becomes your central focus. I pray that whatever hinders you from your journey with Christ is removed by the power of the Holy Spirit. May you find Jesus and enjoy the rest and restoration He brings to our lives…