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Wasting Time

This past weekend my dad was able to take a quick overnight trip to stay with us while conducting some business locally.

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I always enjoy any time I get to spend with him, and the kids were overjoyed to play with Papa and to smell his coffee.  (That’s a Davis and Ellis favorite.)  🙂

Friday night Andy and I went to drop our oldest at a friend’s house.  My dad told us not to hurry home so Andy and I stopped to have “coffee”.  For two non-coffee drinkers that equated to 1 hot chocolate and 1 hot tea.  🙂

Upon arriving home, although I know that my dad and I were both exhausted, we began talking and sharing.  I’ve always considered my dad to be one of my greatest spiritual mentors.  As his daughter of almost 38 years I can attest to the fact that he is a man who has walked with the Lord for as long as I’ve been alive.  He has not lived a perfect life, for none of us have, but from what I witnessed my dad always turned to the Lord for wisdom and guidance.

Relating with my dad always ends up with him sharing truths from the Bible.  We don’t even have to be discussing spiritual matters, it just naturally infiltrates our conversations.  It’s because that’s who my dad is.  There is no separating life and the Lord.  The Lord is his life.

This morning in church we sang,

“Hallelujah, all I have is Christ.

Hallelujah, Jesus is my life.”

Those words describe who my dad is, and who I hope to be.  I want Jesus to be my life.

This past week I was listening to a sermon by one of my favorite pastors, Jon Courson.  He has spoken into my life multiple times.  I never get the sense that he is putting his own spin on verses or using scripture out of context to make his point.  He teaches directly from the Bible and he is a pastor I trust.

Some of you may wonder when I have time to listen to sermons?  I used to think that I didn’t have time, until I began to examine how I was spending my moments.  We are all in different phases, stages, and ages, as Jon Courson says.  But, I have found that if I search for them, I do have pockets that I can carve out for time with the Lord.  Let me get real though, there will be days, weeks, or months that when I get a minute to myself all I want to do is collapse on the couch, and I do that too. 🙂

So here is one of my “pockets” that I discovered.  Since I try to spend a few mornings a week at the gym, I have time to plug my earbuds in and listen to what I choose.  Some days I may listen to music, but I’ve found recently that my desire for receiving a sound biblical teaching is what I long for.  I may only listen to a portion of the sermon.  I may wait to finish listening until my next gym day, or I may turn it on in the bathroom as I’m getting ready for the day.  My “pockets” were there, I just had to become aware of them.

So this past week I tuned in to listen to one of Pastor Courson’s recent teachings out of the book of Luke, chapter 2. (*I encourage you to click on the link and listen if you have time.)

Simeon in his old age had just seen the Messiah, as it had been promised to him.  We are then led to the story of Anna.  Anna who had been a widow for many decades, Anna who was of great age, Anna…

“who did not depart from the temple, but served God with fastings and prayers night and day”

Luke 2:37

Pastor Courson begins to share about aging.  As King David said, “I have been young and now I am old..”

Pastor Jon declares, “I have been young and now I am old…”

He began his church as a 23 year old young man and is now 63.  He claims that when you walk with the Lord it gets better AND better AND better as you age.

I believe him.

“The passions we once had go by the wayside.  It may be because we are unable to do what we once could, or it may be because we don’t want to,” Pastor Jon shares.

I LOVE reading Christian fiction novels!

Every night as I climb into bed I reach for my book so that I can once again immerse myself into whatever story I am consumed by.  Gradually that has been changing.  It’s been months since I have had an intriguing story lying on my nightstand.  Having recently unpacked most of our books onto our new shelves I remembered one night that my favorite series was upstairs.  I slipped out from under the covers and tiptoed upstairs to grab the first book in this series that I had not read in many years.  The past few weeks I have been re-reading the story, but it just doesn’t grab me the way it once did.  I’m enjoying it, but I have found it is something I am easily able to toss aside.  When I’m tired I don’t have the sensation that I need to read “just one more page!”

The other night, when I crawled into bed I reached for my book and saw my Bible sitting next to it.  Instead of reaching for my fiction story, I grabbed the real story.

Since I am in the Old Testament in my Chronological Bible, I opened up to the New Testament and began in Matthew.  As I was reading I came to chapter 3 and the words in red jumped off of the page.  I realized that these were the first words which Jesus spoke that Matthew recorded.  I then spent a few minutes flipping through the Gospels (Matthew, Mark, Luke and John) so that I could read the first words in red in each of these books.

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This whet my appetite for more, so I turned back to Matthew and continued reading.  I turned the page and came to a passage telling us about Jesus healing a great multitude.  Guess what it said?

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I know the stories of Jesus healing the lame, the blind, and the lepers.  But, never in all my bible reading had I ever seen that He healed the epileptics!  This made it personal.  This made it more meaningful.  As we read the bible it will speak to our current circumstances.  Reading this passage before this year, I would have never made this seemingly minor mention of epilepsy a major focus.  But, having been diagnosed with epilepsy this past year I read this scripture realizing that there are no “minors” in the Word.  Everything is major!

In that moment, sitting up in bed with my bible laying before me, I praised God that my desire for that novel had diminished and my passion for His Word had increased.

I share this story, not because I think there is anything wrong with enjoying a good book.  I still plan to read my series. If I go on a trip I’m sure my bag will be bursting at the seams full of books!

I mention this, however, because of something Pastor Courson said in his teaching.

“Are we entertaining ourselves to death…

and finding no life?”

This weekend Andy and I lay on our couches in comfy, cozy clothes and rented a movie.  This is one of my favorite things to do, and I enjoyed every second of it!  Entertainment is….well, it’s entertaining.

It’s fun.

It’s enjoyable.

It’s something to look forward to.

I think back to stages, phases, and ages of my life and I can clearly see that there were seasons I wasted that were mostly consumed by self entertainment and not much else.

As my passion for the Lord grows, I am more aware of how I am spending my days.

Am I wasting away time on the temporary, or am I finding life in the eternal?

Am I able to, as my dad so easily does, quote verses word by word in conversation?  Or am I lost when trying to share God’s truth not knowing in what direction to point?

I don’t want to waste time!

I do believe we should enjoy the blessings that God has provided for us.

Ride your bike, read a good book, make a craft, watch a movie, play a round of golf, get a pedicure, eat lots and lots of candy :), play a video game, go shopping, get a good work out in….

But remember that time with the Lord is life giving.  Look for your “pockets”.

Are there places where you feel like time is wasted?

My prayer for you is that the Lord will reveal ways that you can spend time with Him.

And I pray that the more time you spend with the King of Kings, He will become the greatest passion of your life.

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