Devotional Thought of the Day:
8 “Observe the Sabbath and keep it holy. 9 You have six days in which to do your work, 10 but the seventh day is a day of rest dedicated to me. On that day no one is to work—neither you, your children, your slaves, your animals, nor the foreigners who live in your country. Exodus 20:8-10 (TEV)
552 It would be bad if you were to waste your time, which is not yours but God’s and is meant for His glory. But if on top of that you make others waste it, you both diminish your own standing and defraud God of more of the glory you owe Him. (1)
There is a song that was once a faovrite of mine, perhaps not so much these days because of the reality of it in life.
Written by Harry Chapin, it tells the story of a dad and his son, who thought they would desire to spend tie together, don’t. Life and work gets in the way. And the father who said, “not today”, in his old age hears the same phrase back, “not today”. It looks forward to the day when “we’ll get together then, you know we’ll have a
good time, then”
In this life, there will be no more “then’s” for me and my dad, there will be them for my son, and trying to keep that all in balance with the demands of being a servant to the people of God is a challenge. There are those that say the pastor’s family must always come first. A noble idea, but an impossibility, if we take our ordination vows seriously. There are those who use those same vows as an escape from the family, mismanaging their time. There has to be wisdom, and yes sacrifice. And in even in that balance, there will be pain to be born. Someone will have to hear “then”, and it will hurt to hear it, and hurt to say it.
This blog isn’t about those “then’s”, but rather the one’s we say to God.
God, I’m running late this morning – I’ll spend time with you later.
God, there’s a family event, I need to be at. I’ll be at church next week.
God, we’ll have a good time together, “then”!
The tragedy is great, this neglecting of relationship. Not just for us, even as we so need God’s presence in our lives. For life is a challenge, there are hurts and betrayals, sins and disasters, and we often need his comfort. Hard as it is to imagine, our neglect of our relationship with God is hard for God as well. You see it in God’s word’s to Hosea, as God explains the hurt as Israel prostitutes herself to false idols. You hear it in Jesus voice, as he cries over Jerusalem, explaining how he longed to comfort them as a mother hen comforts and protects her children. That’s the idea of a relationship – to spend time together, and the time lost… is time where love isn’t expressed, time where we drift apart.
There is another line in the song, the words of the song where the son says, “I’m gonna be just like you dad…”
And I pray, that with God, that line is true. That we will look to our Abba Father in Heaven, and we will grow up to love Him in the way He loves us. That we will appreciate our time with Him, the way He desires to spend it with us.
Not just in heaven,but now. Hear His promises,
“You will be my people, and I will be your God. Ezekiel 36:28 (TEV)
“and teach them to obey everything I have commanded you. And I will be with you always, to the end of the age.” Matthew 28:20 (TEV)
“Don’t you know that your body is the temple of the Holy Spirit, who lives in you and who was given to you by God? You do not belong to yourselves but to God; “ 1 Corinthians 6:19 (TEV)
Writing about our time with God is hard, because no matter how hard I try, it sounds like law, it sounds like, well discipline. I still struggle with calling prayer and bible study and such benefits -spiritual discipines – because that makes it sound like tasks and obligations, rather than the good time we have, when we understand that God is here… that God is with us. But how we encourage each other to live aware of His presence, aware of His love and comfort, of His guidance. I Know that’s how Escriva’s words sound at first, yet I also realize that they come from a person who knows God’s presence, and knows how desperately we need to remain aware of His presence. Yeah – it’s that powerful, that life changing. That everything.
Prayer not just as a formal matter, but as our time with our Dad… where we admit that He’s gotta handle the things which we can’t, where we rejoice as He fixes and heals, as He shares with us His work in recreating this world. As He brings us together to encourage each other, to celebrate His love. To realize that this God did come to us, and is here with us… even this very moment.
Such is the nature of this joy, that we need to realize what it’s cost us to overlook it. Like Harry Chapin’s song is supposed to help us dad’s, and our sons.
Lord, have mercy on us, and help us to grow up just like Jesus.
(1) Escriva, Josemaria (2011-01-31). Furrow (Kindle Locations 2370-2372). Scepter Publishers. Kindle Edition.
- WE WERE ROBBED! yeah…so? (justifiedandsinner.com)
- Will God hear even me today, in this mood I am in? (justifiedandsinner.com)