Before I begin this post (and before you read any further)... get out a piece of paper, or open a blank document on your computer. Think back on what you've done today, or what you've done this week. Make two lists. On the first list, write down everything you have made sure you got accomplished. Actually, write down everything you did - whether you consider them an "accomplishment" or not. On the second list, write down things you didn't do. Maybe you thought of doing them, maybe you should have done them, or maybe in retrospect you realize you should have.
Got your lists done? Okay...let me begin my post for today...
I woke up this morning, and considered doing morning prayer. But first, I needed a cup or two of coffee. I can't function without coffee. Once I got that coffee in my system, I again considered doing morning prayer. But, my husband asked me if I could make him more meatloaf at some point today. I decided to do that first. Once the meatloaf was in the oven, I started thinking about how I needed to shower and get ready for work, and maybe play a little xbox to relax before work. And that's when the topic of this post smacked me upside the head...
It is so easy to push aside prayer time. It isn't that I don't WANT to pray. I do. I have been trying to make a point of doing Matins (morning prayer) and Compline (night prayer) every day. And it has been helping me immensely - emotionally, mentally, physically, and of course spiritually. But still... something else always seems to take priority.
This is the same with Sunday worship service. We often choose an extra couple hours of sleep instead. I mean... we can always go to service next week. Or, we choose to pick up an extra shift at work. Money is definitely a needed thing for a family.
Of course, it's Lent season now. which gives many of us an extra opportunity for worship and prayer. But... well.... I just worked a long shift. Or, I was doing laundry and chores and errands, and am just too tired to make that midweek service.
Often times, we tend to be very dismissive when it comes to our faith lives. To a degree, this is understandable. I mean, we do have busy lives. Children have activities. There are household chores to do. And there are so many bills and other responsibilities to take care of. Prayer, church, our faith lives in general - they tend to get pushed to the backseat.
Before I continue my post, I want you to really consider what is most important to you in your life. Or, what you feel is most important, and what you want to hold most important. Additionally, I want you to consider what is most urgent in your life. What are those things that you feel are so important they must absolutely be taken care of first and foremost. Make a set of 4 squares such as below, but write your importances and your urgencies on the bars. (i.e. where importance says "high", perhaps you have God. Below that is family. Below that is your own goals.) You can have as many or as few things written on those bars...
If you're anything like me, most often, the things I fill my day with aren't what they should be. I get distracted easily. I don't spend my time with God as I should. I procrastinate when it comes to spending time with him. I - sometimes intentionally, sometimes unintentionally - try to get out of prayer time or worship time.
Most of my posts, I explain the dangers of what I'm talking about. In this particular case, I think it's pretty self-explanatory. Our time should go to God first. Our first priority should always be to God.
So, our Lenten sacrifice today:
Stop procrastinating on time spent with God.
Often, we claim laziness or responsibilities as the main cause of why we procrastinate on God. But I recently read (and I don't remember where) that there are 3 main reasons we procrastinate...
Fear of failure
Fear of success
I'll probably write another post at some point going into these more, but I include them here and now as something to think about. Are you (or, am I) procrastinating on time with God because we know we're not perfect? We know we fail and don't want to face that? We are scared of the peace and love we'll be overcome with should we actually put God first? We're scared that maybe we won't feel that peace and love?
Let go of all of that and give it a try. Try honestly putting God above all the other responsibilities and desires in your life. Make time with God a priority.