Tuesday, July 8, 2008

4 (now 5) funerals and a wedding

Okay, summer is not a slower time in the church, and you can guess what I mean with the title of this blog. This week we have been hit hard with the loss of loved ones, and blessed with the union of a couple - but it also means a lot more running around trying to get caught up, and missing out on some the things we need to do.

So it brings to mind a thought - sometimes life is a challenge to choose between the important and the urgent.

There are many important things we need to do in life, and there are also many urgent things we need to do in life. Often, we cannot do both, so we are stuck choosing between them. This is not always (actually it is rarely) an easy thing to do. So how do we make decisions as to where we spend our valuable time and energy?

A long time ago I was reminded that there are different levels of priorities - First is God and our relationship with him, second is family and ourselves (making sure that we take care of both on mental, physical, and emotional levels), and third is work.

I like the way this plays out - Our first priority is God, and this makes sense because God's first priority is us. He has given everything we are and have to us, and we are called to do the same to him. So first we must make the time to strengthen our relationship with him.

Second is our family and ourselves - we need to take care of both of these because they are so central in our lives. Making sure we are healthy, do the Dr.'s visits we might want to ignore, going to the gym, eating right, having quality time with our loved ones. All of these things are vitally important as well - and they also give us strength for our tough days.

Finally work - our vocation. God gave us gifts to do different things in our lives. It is in the work place where we can show just how much God means to us by our actions and words. And we also make a contribution to God's good creation by what we do.

So today, may we all reflect on the important things in our lives, and spend time building up God, ourselves, and others.

1 comment:

Betty Dygart said...

God, ourselves, and then others...

All are topics for prayer.

I wandered into the church library on Sunday and saw a collection of books on the table, all regarding prayer. I chose a small volume, Ole Hallesby's "Prayer."

His words grabbed me on the first page.

"To pray is to let Jesus come into our hearts. This teaches us, in the first place, that it is not OUR prayer which moves the Lord Jesus. It is Jesus who moves us to pray. He knocks. Thereby He makes known His desire to come in to us. Our prayers are always a result of Jesus' knocking at our hearts' door."

What a revelation! These words make it clear to me that my prayer life is of crucial importance. If every time I pray, it is because Jesus is trying to GET IN, I must be more diligent in opening that door.

I am now at a chapter which addresses how we, as sinners, find all kinds of reasons not to pray, and how that is the work of the devil and the Old Adam in us. How true that is.

In this fast-paced world, just as Pastor E has described his own work-week, it is easy to make excuses for not taking time to pray, or to nourish our spiritual side. But, how important it is!

We have been given prayer as a link to God. As the hymn says, "What a friend we have in Jesus, all our sins and griefs to bear. And what a privilege to carry everything to God in prayer."

But, as the song goes on to say, we often forget to act on this privilege, and thereby lose the benefit of this great gift. "Oh, what needless pain we bare, all because we do not carry, everything to God in prayer."

Today, I thank God for prayer, for those who help me in building my own prayer life, my pastors, good books, and those saints living around me. Thanks be to God.