I have days when I’m disappointed with the amount of time I’m spending on worldly routine vs. the time I’m spending connecting with God. About six times a year, I resolve to “get better” with my spiritual disciplines. These (often unrealistic) resolutions usually go something like this: Get out of bed earlier every single day for the rest of my life. Join yet another bible study. Serve in a new ministry. Read the entire bible this week. Next week, study one chapter each day with a highlighter, pen, and concordance.
Three days into the New-Year’s-Ish resolutions, I’m either laughing out loud at my foolishness, or berating myself for being “less than I should be” as a follower of God.
There are 4 quick certainties that emerge:
1) I am living in the real world. I have a massive amount of family responsibilities, obligations, jobs to work, bills to pay, difficult people to deal with, and so on. Why do I continue to think I should somehow live at a super-human level? This is one of my many self-imposed perfectionist lies that I silently nurture.
2) I cannot compare my everyday life to other Christians. I have been known to hold myself mentally to the same standards as: A.) Moms who have hired weekly house and kids’ help, freeing them up for lots of bible studies and volunteer time; B.) older, wiser women who I wrongly assume have always been as mature, wise, and patient as they are at 70 years old.
3) Obedience isn’t perfection. I can be faithful today, without having read my bible this morning. In fact, I suspect that God would appreciate me getting out more ;). There will be mornings when prayer time is turning off the radio on the way to school and offering a quick blessing before teenagers jump out of the vehicle.
4) There will be no reading of the entire bible in one week. Why? Even in the rare event that I could skip out on my life to just read all day, I have found that Hebrews 4:12 takes over. As I sit down at the kitchen table, determined to read 75 of the 150 Psalms in one morning 🙂, I am convicted. I am frustrated. I am awed – and that’s just in the first 5 minutes. The Word slows me down. Every verse is a challenge to rise higher, live kinder, love more, and exercise greater faith…. I need way more time than a week.