In the most recent post on this subject, I discussed that ‘practicing’ Christians follow certain fundamentals in their lives, the way baseball players follow certain fundamentals in playing baseball, and 1] is FOCUS ON GOD EVERY DAY. I said something like, “Give Him some time and attention”.
Just this week I’ve been reminded that there are a lot of distractions in the world that keep us from (or impede our progress in) building this kind of relationship with Jesus. I’m talking A LOT of distractions. Some of them large and threatening, others apparently small and insignificant, but just as distracting. Many of these are serious problems that require a great deal of time and attention, particularly in the eyes of well-meaning, God-fearing, Bible-believing people. Things such as the state of our nation; the many astounding changes in our culture regarding sex, marriage, constitutional issues, leadership problems, immigration, liberal vs conservative disputes, and others too numerous to mention. There are many, many things wrong, and someone just MUST do something about them. All are legitimate concerns that require attention.
On the next level are all the things that we have to do TODAY! Depending on what stage of life you’re at right now, you’ve got a lot of things on your mind. If you’re 30-something, you probably have a spouse, 2.5 children, (maybe a pet or two, too), a job, a diet, an exercise program, kids’ school activities, kids’ recreational activities, kids’ extra-curricular educational activities like sports, or dancing, or church choir, or piano, or voice, or who knows what. Not a single one of which are bad, in and of themselves, in fact they’re all good, and every single one REQUIRES a certain amount of attention; but taken together they’re more than you can possibly run and jump over. Again, all legitimate concerns that require attention.
Down at the bottom we’ve got the little stuff that takes up time, but some of it is stuff that makes the other things bearable, like a movie, or a shopping trip, or a football game, or heck, just a walk in the park, or an afternoon at the beach. (Even going out to eat at something besides a fast-food restaurant.) I think most of us would say that even these things, though they may seem like recreation and not exactly required, are all legitimate concerns that require attention. If you don’t do some of these things, some of the time, you’ll just blow a gasket.
So when you take all these things into account, how in the world do you have an extra hour a day to sit quietly and think about God? (or talk to Him) Even when you think that God is at the very top of your list, it’s still hard, almost impossible, to focus all your attention on Him for very long at a time, every day. I have the best of intentions, but there are days when I don’t even come close to an hour. Some days it’s 15 minutes, if I’m lucky, and half that time I’m thinking about all that other stuff, instead of God.
So I’ve got a few suggestions. First, if you truly care about God, He sees that care in your heart, and He’s going to help you do this. Just keep asking Him. He’ll make a way. Second, it doesn’t take an hour. If, after you kinda wake up, maybe while you’re standing at the coffee pot waiting for it to brew, you take one minute, and you say, “Lord, I love you. I want You to be in my life in a bigger, more personal way. I give You myself and this day. Show me Yourself today. Touch me and use me to touch others. In Jesus Name, Amen.” It’s even better if you say whatever comes to you in that moment. God is definitely listening; He’s definitely looking at your heart; and He will definitely respond. One minute. It’ll change your life. If you keep doing it, it’ll begin to grow into a close personal relationship with the Living God.