This is the first weekend in a couple of months that I haven't had work deadlines to attend to. I realized this afternoon in the warmth of the sunshine that I felt guilty for not accomplishing something substantial. I felt it wasn't enough to just "be" in this beautiful day. I thought I had put that demon to rest years ago. But I find myself back in constant production mode rather than in a healthy flow of work, play, Sabbath rest.
Someone asked me recently how I'm doing spiritually. My immediate response was something like, "I'm freakin' busy. I wish I had more time to just 'be.' But God's got me. So no matter how I feel, I'm OK." That's a somewhat crude and simplistic way of reiterating the truth in the classic hymn -- "It is well with my soul."
How can you NOT have time for God?
I used to wonder about the depth of spirituality of people who could never seem to find time for quiet, meditation, devotional reading, gathering with others aside from a regular church service to inspire and encourage one another in our Christian journey. I wouldn't say it out loud. In fact, my head would nod sympathetically while you went on about how you wish you could find time for a Bible study or a small group, or even just fifteen minutes of quiet time with God before the craziness of the day. It wasn't that I didn't want to understand. I just couldn't.
Almost two years ago, for the first time since having kids, I started working full-time. It was a God thing, and I love my job. But I had to give up my weekly daytime small group that had been meeting for almost four years, and I found myself for the first time in 25 years having nine hours of every weekday pre-planned for me. Add to that getting Charli to soccer practice at least twice a week and games on weekends. When do you get groceries, cook (solution--I don't!), exercise, clean house, do laundry, run household errands, catch up with friends??? When do you sit and reflect and soak in the Word of God and, as an old Indian saying goes, "Allow your soul to catch up with your body" ??? Now I get it.
Most days I manage to read my "Jesus Calling" devotion. And prayer is in fits and starts --"Lord, comfort my friend," "Provide for so-and-so," "Thank you for this food and this day." It's not the concentrated chunk of time I'd like, but I think God is listening just the same.
I'm not making excuses or saying I'm content with the form or frequency of my spiritual disciplines. But I do think the reality of this season is just one more way God is teaching me humility and compassion for others. Lo and behold, He is showing up all over the place -- even though I'm not lighting my candle and settling in with my journal and Bible for an hour every day. Given my upbringing, I think it's probably a huge growth point for me to realize God is still just as much with me and loves me just as much when I'm struggling to eek out quiet time as when I'm the over-achiever in the Beth Moore Bible study.
That said, I do know that Sabbath rest, time alone with God, soaking in His Word, are necessities. They are breath and life for my soul. Thank God for His grace as I...as we...sometimes struggle to figure this out in our everyday working, paying bills, carpooling lives.