Wednesday 5 November 2014

Too Busy for God?

I must have been around 20 when I heard the sermon as it was still in the old NKMB church building. My good friend Paul was giving what was most likely one of his first sermons as he's not much older than me and he held up his bible and said "you need to read this book every day." While others nodded in agreement my reaction was not as positive. My thoughts were more along the lines of "what kind of religious jargon is..... " I was still a fairly new Christian, 5 years old, and definitely new to church. At that point I didn't get it; I didn't see how daily time in the bible could be that important. In my mind the most important things were to go out and do and at that point I already was. I was getting involved in church, helping with worship in college & career, and volunteering my time at a local inner city youth drop-in centre. Put that on top of being a university student and I was busy. 

That summer was my first serving in camp ministry and if I thought I was busy throughout the year I was shocked to find out what busy really was. Camp days are long, and camp nights, especially when in cabin, are short - far too short. As well, I was trying to be cool, a christian who had it all together and wasn't bound by traditions, something I was taking a bit of pride in at the time. It all changed one morning with the simplest of things; I stumbled into the lounge early in the morning and saw Mike reading his bible with a coffee in hand. Now you gotta know, this was the guy I looked up to. He was leadership staff, he was cool, the kids loved him, he was wise (realizing now beyond his young years), and he was taking the time in the busiest of schedules to make time for God. 

As God would have it, just before the summer I had also been challenged by a college & career bible study where the young couple teaching had given us some tools for how to actually read the bible consistently including a bible reading plan from discipleship journal. It was a "Bible in a Year" plan and it actually took you through 4 short readings from throughout the Bible each day, with a few grace days built into each month. It was just what I needed and that fall (or maybe even starting that summer - I can't remember) I started to spend daily time in my bible. It took some time to find the right "time" and it's also changed through the years. For a couple of years at camp it was sitting up on the rock, reading my bible and then walking in circles as I prayed. For the past 5 years or so it's been getting up at least an hour before I need to be anywhere, making an espresso, and reading my bible in the comfort of my recliner. I don't know what your time is but I do know God has one prepared for you. 

A number of years ago I was challenged by a seminary class to memorize the book of Mark. Okay, now let me be clear, this took a crazy amount of time, but wow did it bring the gospel to life for me. I'm revisiting Mark right now and trying to get back all I've forgotten and I was reminded once again of the importance of daily time with God by Jesus Himself in Mark 1:35-39.  In the midst of "the whole town" gathering at Jesus' doorstep, Jesus withdrew by Himself to a solitary place to pray even though everyone was looking for Him. Seeking direction from His Father was more important if He was to care for His sheep. What happened next is even more surprising as His time with God told Him it was time to do something different when a sensible standpoint might have been to focus on the crowd that was suddenly transfixed on His every move. 

How much more is it for us? How much more might God take you in a completely different direction just by spending daily personal time with Him and in His word? Can a Christian actually afford not to take that time?

The video below is not profound. It's one I made to intro a Boys Club talk a number of years back. In fact, a few of the elementary school boys I showed this video to at the time are now my youth leaders....  hope it's worth a least a chuckle. 

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