“God claims Earth and everything in it, God claims World and all who live on it.”
Psalm 24:1 (The Message)
I spoke earlier in My Relationship with God is Not a Race about how God wants us to enjoy the journey of getting to know Him instead of rushing through the lessons, anxious about the “pop quizzes” and wondering if we’re doing enough, fast enough. I also wrote another blog earlier this year, Obedience with Finances and Time, where I spoke about how God was teaching me that my time is just as valuable to Him as my finances. He wants me to make good use of my time just like He wants me to spend and budget our finances wisely as well.
I’ve been thinking a lot about the concept of time and making good use of my time. I even fasted, wanting to draw closer to God because of my desire to go into the next season, the second half of 2017, making sure to only say “yes” to God’s best for my schedule and learning how to say “no” to what’s not His best for my life at this stage. And it was only after I started fasting and digging in deeper than I realized that doesn’t encompass just work related activities – it includes everything in my life.
I was emailing a friend and we were talking about one of our favorite shared interests: books. She was telling me about these great books she’s reading and I was sharing with her some great books I’m reading and telling her about the long list I have written down of books I’m waiting to reserve at the library because of the 20 books I have on my shelf that I haven’t read yet… and that’s when it hit me. All the books I’m referring to are great books to read. I know I will read important truths that I can put into practice. However, when it becomes more work and more stressful to read them, then I know it’s not God’s best “yes” for my life.
So, I decided, after reading as many of the books I have on my shelf, slowly, as I can before their due date, I’m going to start reserving the nonfiction books one at a time and savoring them, getting as much out of them as possible before moving on to the next book. And, I’m going to continue to ask God to speak to me regarding my time, my schedule, my life, so that I learn how to say “yes” to His best and say “no” to everything else, kindly but firmly. It won’t be easy. I love books and coffee and ministry and doing things with family and friends and seem to never have enough. However, I think this will be a great way for God to teach me contentment, satiety, self control and delayed gratification. Those are great qualities to model to my children and to implement regularly into my life.
I’m learning that giving God my time is more than just my schedule. It’s everything in my life that effects my schedule – including when I go shopping, what books are on my “to be read” list, giving myself permission to watch a family movie, etc. I want to enjoy my journey with my Father. And I can’t do that very well when I’m stretched too thin or stressed out by self-imposed goals that were never part of my Father’s plan for my life to begin with. I’m gladly giving Him my time because I know I will receive so many blessings in return for that obedience.
© Cheri Swalwell 2017