Thursday, September 15, 2011

Swept Away

"be willing.... daily"
Luke 9:23

In our home, our little schoolroom faces the backyard, which is nice because we notice the birds ~ the ones who come to the bird-feeder, and the ones who hop along the ground under the bird-feeder cleaning up the mess, and the ones who return every year to the nest in our patio cover.

But it's also bad, because if the backyard is in disarray, I can see it.  I might be waiting for Awesome Girl or Amazing Boy to work on math problems, and my eyes wander to the window, and I notice all the leaves that need to be swept off the patio, or the gardening implements left out, or the soccer ball or the basketball or the volleyball or the baseballs or the hockey sticks...

So today, when I had a few minutes, I decided to go outside and do a little sweeping.  But when I got out there, I felt completely overwhelmed.  It's been so hot lately, we haven't been using the backyard, and it really needed attention.  It just seemed like soooo much sweeping to do.

So I decided to rake instead, and cleaned up the garden area, and then I picked up the broom again, to try again on the patio area.  And then I just gave up.  So I decided to tackle a different problem, and grabbed a couple of garden tools to put them away, but when I opened the shed, I was overwhelmed all over again.  The shed has become a bit of a catch-all for things we don't know what else to do with, and it badly needs to be cleaned out.

I surveyed the property, and the belongings with which we've been blessed, and I thought, not for the first time, that I wished I hadn't been so neglectful.  This is the kind of thing that is so much easier to take care of a little at a time.  If I would just spend a little time, maybe a couple of times a week, it wouldn't have the chance to become a time-consuming, whole family, weekend project.

There are a lot of things in life that are like that.  A little at a time to keep it from getting out of hand.  Keeping it under control to avoid becoming overwhelmed.  Like dishes... balancing the checkbook... or flossing...

Our spiritual upkeep is like this, too.  God's Word, and Jesus' example when He was on earth, illustrate this over and over.  "Give us this day our daily bread," we are taught to pray.  And the account of the Israelites in the desert, receiving manna every day ~ but only enough for one day.  He wants us to come to Him, frequently and regularly.  He wants us to want Him, and to need Him.  Well, actually, we do need Him every day, but He wants us to acknowledge that we need Him.

We're walking through this life, either with Him or without Him.  The closer we walk with Him, the closer we'll stay to the path He desires for us.  When we wander from Him, we wander down stray paths.  And the farther we get down a wrong path, the harder the road back to where we should be.  Whereas, if we're only a little lost, we only need a correcting "nudge" from Him.

His Word is our guide.  Being in the Bible every day enables Him to teach us, and to reach us, in whatever place we're in, or whatever path we're on.  If you're not reading the Bible every day ~ why aren't you?  What are you doing that's more important?

Are you forgetting?  Ask Him to remind you.
     Are you not interested?  Ask Him to entice you.
          Are you worried you won't get other stuff done?
          Ask Him to set your priorities straight.

We're going to make mistakes.  Every day.  So ask Him to fix them.  Every day.

~ "Jesus said to all of them, 
'If people want to follow me, 
they must give up the things they want.  
They must be willing 
to give up their lives daily 
to follow Me.' " ~
Luke 9:23

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