If you don’t live by yourself, you may find it difficult to find a quiet place and time with God and His Word to start your day. Yesterday, I found that space and time. I was able to take the time in a quiet space to have the Lord set my GPS for the day. Yesterday was a very productive day, and I believe that was due to my making the time and space to spend time with my Lord.
This morning has been a challenge. It was nearly an hour after waking that I was able to get to spend some quiet time with God, and that time was interrupted several times. When we were looking for a house, one thing I wanted was a prayer closet, and I was bound a determined to create one. I have looked at Pinterest, read several articles on creating one — I wanted the perfect space where I can be alone with God. So far, the perfect space doesn’t exist. I am so blessed to share my life and my home with the love of my life, my husband. When you share a space, you share. When you are both up at the same time, the other person may feel like talking. I’m not a morning person, and I usually don’t feel like talking in the morning. Today, I awoke thinking of the things I need to accomplish at work this morning before our investor meeting begins, and I wanted to spend time with God (alone) and get ready for the day ahead.
I’m convinced today the Lord is trying to show me something, and I’m not really certain what that is yet, but I’m open to learn what He has for me. And then I read this from Fervent, the book by Priscilla Shirer. “If I were your enemy, I’d make everything seem urgent, as if it’s all yours to handle. I’d bog down your calendar with so many expectations you couldn’t tell the difference between what’s important and what’s not. Going and doing, guilty for ever saying no, trying to control it all, but just being controlled by it all instead. . . . If I could keep you busy enough, you’d be too overwhelmed to even realize how much work you’re actually saving me.”
She goes on to talk about the Israelites after they were freed from slavery to the Egyptians. “Why does this concept of stopping, resting, shutting off, stepping away, pulling back, taking a deep breath— the biblical command of Sabbath— why was it so hard for them? Same reason it’s so hard for us. Because to some degree, we’re slaves just as they were. The thought of deliberately choosing a rhythm of rest and margin around our full slate of activities feels almost unthinkable— because it lands on people who still think the way a slave thinks. People who’ve been trained through the years not to say no. People who are the unwitting servants to their master calendars. People whose own impulses, in conjunction with the ninety-mile-an-hour culture swirling around them, leave them feeling they don’t ever have permission to step out of line, to hop off the merry-go-round, to decide for themselves it’s time to close up shop and go home.
“It was for freedom that Christ set us free; therefore keep standing firm and do not be subject again to a yoke of slavery.” (Gal. 5: 1). “Enough can be enough— not just on our calendars but in every area of our lives. Then we can sit back in the freedom that helps us start again tomorrow with our spirits rested, alert, and renewed.”
“God doesn’t want something from you. He wants something for you. Your value is not in what you do (as if you could ever do enough) but in who you are (as if you could ever be more loved and accepted by Him than you already are). This, too, is what Sabbath is meant to communicate. You don’t need to keep pushing, rushing, gathering, hustling. You’ve already received approval from the only One whose approval really matters. He has stamped His value on you, and that is enough. Even the activities He gives you to steward are not given to see how many balls you can juggle, but instead so you can participate with Him in staking a kingdom claim on the patches of ground where you live.”
I have a lot to chew on today, and I will continue to ruminate on what I’ve been shown. I know I need to spend time with God. (Did you see the period I put at the end of that sentence?) I don’t need a super special space or a beautiful and artistic journal worthy of Pinterest. I just need time with my Lord. “For My yoke is easy,” He said, “and My burden is light” (Matt. 11: 30).