There are so many things in life that cause us to feel rushed, harried, torn in a million different directions. There are people who place demands on our time and energy. There are causes for which we feel passionate. There are projects to complete, lists to check, calls to return, emails to read . . . and on, and on, and on.
I’m finding it particularly true that in these hectic days, if I’m not careful, I can find myself getting my priorities all out of whack. I respond to the demands of those who are loudest — not out of genuine care and concern, but rather, to simply get them to stop talking. I find myself allowing the naysayers and chronic complainers to have my ear more than those I claim to love the most. I find myself feeling guilty when the typical 24-hour day doesn’t allow enough margin for me to take action with regard to those causes that tug steadily at my heartstrings.
Yes, life in the 21st century moves at light speed. Unfortunately, if I’m really, really honest, I must admit that sometimes my struggle to adequately manage my time not only short-changes my family . . . it also short-changes God.
There. I said it.
I’m a full-time minister at a church . . . working hard to help others connect with God, and yet somehow even I fail to adequately connect with Him. Sure, I know He’s there . . . just like the friend or neighbor at Wal-Mart who I acknowledge with a mere wave or nod. But I’m busy doing something else. I see Him calling . . . just like that other person who’s always phoning, texting, or emailing — never seeming to get the clue that I’ve got important things going on. I hear Him attempting to get in a word with me, just like my kids when I’m on the phone . . . or visiting with someone who happened to catch me on my way out of the church.
Why is it that the One I say I love the most is also the one I put on the back-burner until the right moment comes along?
It’s probably just me. Most of my readers are pretty solid Christian people who have their act altogether. They manage their time well. They have their priorities in the proper order. They always give God first place and never ask Him to wait.
The good news is that God doesn’t hold grudges . . . unlike the ‘best friend’ I may have dissed. God doesn’t seek retribution for my immaturity or downright disobedience. He doesn’t hover over me like a parent whose child made a really bad choice. Rather, He waits patiently for me to make time to connect with Him in a personal, meaningful way. He forgives me for my inattention to our relationship. He accepts me just as I am. He delights in the time we have together, whether long or short. He’s the perfect picture of patience, kindness, and love. More than all that, He makes me a better person for the time I spend getting to know Him and following His example.
And I am . . . well, me. Guilty. Self-centered. Wholly undeserving of such a Friend.
Just for today I pray that the words of this song would paint a picture of my heart’s deepest desire:
Jesus, draw me close,
Closer, Lord, to You.
Let the world around me fade away.
Jesus, draw me close,
Closer, Lord to You,
For I desire to worship and obey.
Jesus, thank you for being a friend to sinners like me. Help me this day to take the time to be with You and know You more fully. Amen.