Posted by: Heather | June 27, 2010

What are you doing?

“What are you doing with what God has given to you?”  Pastor Rick Hudson  Sunday morning 6/27/10

This is a question that struck me pointedly.  I suppose it’s because this is exactly what God has been laying on my heart recently.  At my house, summer is an extremely busy time.  I suppose it is for most other people too.  It just seems as though life moves at a lightning fast pace around here during the warmer months.  In addition to my regular responsibilities, we add youth camp, camp for the visually impaired, and a myriad of 4-H summer program events, as well as the usual wet summer activities.  It’s a welcome change of pace for my kids, although busy for me.

Even though I am always doing something, I’ve felt an increased conviction to spend more time on the eternally important things.  Of course, we want our children to love the Lord and serve Him.  That should be the highest priority of every parent.  But, I ask myself, do I do everything I should to make sure this happens, and is my life being used for the glory of God?   Most people that know me would say it is.  But only God, my family, and I really know how much improvement could be made.

I think of so many areas of my life that could use improvement.  I have heard Dave Ramsey make a statement on his radio show several times in the past.  He often said “Those that get ahead do it in the time others waste”.  Of course, he was speaking mostly from a financial point of view.  But, as I ponder this statement, there is so much that could be applied to everyday life.

God has graciously given me a wonderful husband, who is an excellent provider for our household.  I thank God for him, and know that He has blessed me abundantly to have Charlie in my life.  We’ve been married 20 years this October, and God has blessed us with 6 lovely children, 5 of whom are alive and with us now.   Outside of my relationship with God, these relationships should come first.  But, I can see many times where I have let the ‘urgent’ take the place of the eternal.  I mean, we have good relationships, I believe, although we’re not perfect by any means.  But, I wonder, with a bit more effort and prayer on my part, how much better they could be?   Are there challenges I could have avoided if I’d have sought God first, and acted accordingly?

We can always point out things that others can do differently, and think little about how WE can change.  I’ve been so guilty myself.  But, in the past few months or so, I see how much I really need to change in my own life.  And, only God can help me make those changes.

The technology available to us, although very convenient and great in its place, has made it so easy for us to become complacent.  We like to watch TV or play on the computer instead of talking.  Cell phones and email make it very easy to tell someone difficult news without having to actually see them and deal with their emotions.  There are even ‘virtual reality’ games that can allow you to become whatever you’d like to be, and interact online with other people.  Many become hermits in their own homes, because they don’t know how to have a relationship with anyone in real life, outside of their technology.

In society today, we have ‘relationships’…if they can really be called that.  Many live together in the same house, but don’t know each other well.  A young minister at our church recently preached a message on relationship vs. fellowship.  It really touched me.  He was talking about how we can have relationship with God.  That’s a good thing, but it’s even better if we have fellowship with Him.  Relationships can be described many ways;  good, bad, strained, dysfunctional, etc.  But, fellowship…now that’s totally another ballgame.  When did you ever have true fellowship with someone where it was strained?  Fellowship is not bad.  It’s comfortable and pleasant.  It’s two old friends getting together, even after a long time away from one another, and picking right back up where you left off.  It’s enjoying one another’s company, and pouring your hearts out to each other if the conversation goes that way.  It’s knowing that your feelings are safe and that you’re not judged.  It doesn’t mean that internal change doesn’t happen…but if you’re in fellowship with someone, it’s much easier to receive their advice, because you know they have your best interests at heart.

This is so much like God.  If we’ll spend time in true fellowship with Him, He begins to lovingly, but clearly point out the things in our lives that need to change.  As our relationship with Him turns into less ‘relationship’, and more ‘fellowship’, how could it not transfer to our other relationships, and give us more times of true fellowship with those we love?  This not only makes our relationships good, but begins to spread to all other areas of life.

I began to take a survey of my life…past, present, and looking toward the future.  What am I doing with all God has blessed me with?   How much more of myself could I give to God?  What could I do to make my marriage better?  How can I improve fellowship with my children, and be close to each of them individually as well as collectively?  Am I using the home God has blessed me with to be a blessing to others?  Do I treat my body as the temple of the Holy Spirit, and take care of it accordingly?  Is my time being squandered on things that have absolutely no eternal value, instead of being invested in these important endeavors?   These are all things that I am convicted about, and working toward.  I am doing better in some areas than others, and hope to continue to strive for improvement in all.

All of these are important, eternal questions.  The solutions don’t come all at once.  Rather, they come one decision at a time.  And over time, the harvest is reaped.  Lord, please help me to make decisions that are eternal in perspective.  I can’t afford to squander any more time…eternity depends on it.

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