In years past as the days of the year dwindled down, I spent time in prayer and meditation asking God what He wanted to show me going into the next year. Usually He answered my prayers by laying a specific verse on my heart. That verse served as my anthem going into the next phase of life. I learned from it and grew from it, and because of this tradition have become more deeply rooted in the things of Christ.
This year in all of the busy-ness of life, I forgot my yearly ritual. Thankfully my Heavenly Father did not. As I laid in bed a couple of nights before New Year's trying to fall asleep, God whispered two verses to my heart. I immediately knew what they were for and why they'd been given to me.
The first is found in John 10:10. It says,
"The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full."
God did not send His one and only Son into the world so that we could merely exist. He sent Jesus so that we may have life and live it to the full!
Considering how this verse applies to me personally, I was immediately convicted about how I spend my time. How we spend our time is ultimately how we spend our life. I want to spend my life in a bigger and better way than napping, surfing Facebook and the internet, and watching television.
I don't want to be a spectator. I want to be a participant. I don't want to just exist. I want to make a lasting difference on the world.
My routine is generally the same: Get up, go to work, go home, watch tv while playing online, and go to bed. Sure in the middle of all of that I brush my teeth, eat, write a blog, take random photos, but what of that matters? What of that has eternal value? What of that dictates who I am? The more I've chewed on this truth, the more I have come to realization that I am wasting a lot of my time and therefore am also wasting a lot of my life.
The second verse that God laid on my heart is from Colossians 3:23 and 24. It says,
"Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for human masters, since you know that you will receive an inheritance from the Lord as a reward. It is the Lord Christ you are serving."
I believe that these two verses tie in well together. If you are spending your time/life doing all that you do as unto the Lord, then nothing you do will ever be in vain.
Did you get that? Did you let it sink in? Let me say it again:
If you are spending your time/life doing all that you do as unto the Lord, then nothing you do will ever be in vain.
The most mundane tasks can become a ministry when we do it with the right attitude and a heart for God. Whether it is sitting at my desk waiting for the next phone call or next computer entry, washing dishes and laundry, or feeding the dogs, my attitude determines its worth. And only I can determine my attitude.
Another way to look at it is by considering the choices. In Elizabeth George's book, "A Woman After God's Own Heart" she makes the distinction between the choices we make as being good, better, or best. (Not that one way we'd choose to spend time is necessarily bad, but rather is it the best use of our time.) For instance, I can wait during Dacey's weekly dance lessons and pass time playing Bejeweled Blitz on my phone or I can wait during Dacey's weekly dance lessons and read the Word of God from my phone thanks to today's technological advances! Not that playing games is bad, but what is it growing in me? What changes is it making in my life? Is it just a "waste of time"? Then I choose the best option - Bible reading - and sow into my life while drawing closer to God. Just like everything else in life, it comes down to the choices we make.
I refuse to let the devil steal any more of my time - any more of my life - by wasting it on things that do not matter. If it isn't investing in my family, others, or me, it needs to be gone.
There are many other things God is telling me to sweep up and get rid of. I'll be sharing that along the way too. For now, it is almost time for Dacey's weekly dance class or as I prefer to think of it now - two hours for reading and reflection.