“I have so much to do!”
Not an uncommon statement in my life and maybe yours too. But it’s when that dictates the plan for my day then I’m in trouble.
It’s the sense of urgency that messes me up. I forget to put first things or actually the first Person first. Yes, you guessed it. I forgot to put my relationship with God first and that is never a good way to approach a day or a week!
And on Saturday — after a busy week, a hectic week, a week of never feeling like I was getting things done — I was in conversation with God and I realized what I had done. How I had let the tyranny of the urgent mess with the days. I was talking to a friend afterward and confessed how I had not spent time with God and started my days with Him. And how I had sinned in that.
Not a word I like to use a lot of admit. But it was sin that I put God second in my days last week. I confessed it to God as well. After all, it was He I had sinned against.
And it messed up my week for sure because I had misplaced my priorities. God has to come first. In whatever way possible I need to start my days with God. And I know that. And it still doesn’t help sometimes. Ever happen to you?
So today, I started over. I started over with God.
Prayer. Liturgy. Scripture. Putting my focus right.
And the scripture passages and the readings spoke to my life and my day and started everything off right. How is it I haven’t learned this lesson yet?
Paul struggled in Romans 7 with doing the right things, even the things he wanted to do. And that’s too often what happens to me. I want to pray or I want to read scripture but I fail to act wisely or use my time correctly.
How I order my day isn’t what I say I want. So, what do I do next time?
I try again. I confess my sin and ask God’s help. And I do better. At least some days.
6 Ideas to Help in Prayer and the Spiritual Life
1. Set some kind of routine with a devotional or prayer book. Some kind of liturgy can be helpful as it can help build patterns. Evangelicals don’t often embrace liturgy but there is power in the practice.
2. Meet an accountability partner regularly and be honest about how you’re doing. Be real and confess your sins to one another. Then pray for one another to do better.
3. Ask God to nurture your desire for Him. You’re not in this alone so don’t act like it.
4. Play inspiring music as you drive or work. The kind that inspires you. Doesn’t have to be actual worship music if that’s not your style. Pick something that connects you with God. Let it play.
5. Do something different. Routine can be helpful or it can lead to boredom. If you usually spend your God time first thing in the morning by reading a devotional then try walking in the woods and talking to God or sing your praises to Him in the shower. Changing approaches can help.
6. Don’t give up. God knows you and loves you in your weakness and brokenness. Let Him love you. Accept it and don’t give up.