Looking at my next seven days of To Do Lists, here are the things that top them:
Sat Wrap Edie’s presents
Sun Prepare for funeral service on Monday
Mon Prepare for Staff Meeting and other Zoom meetings this week
Tues Invite people to a socially distanced tea party in the Church gardens
Wed Prepare for my online Home Group
Thurs Prepare my sermon
Fri Record our online service
Now all these things are, of course, very important and deserve their places at the top of my lists.
But there’s one thing that I’ll be putting before them. And it’s the same thing for every day.
And that is – Spending time with God. Or you could just say Praying.
For some time now, I’ve made a habit of taking a time of quiet – anything from ten minutes to half an hour to listen to God and pray for the gift of his Holy Spirit. Sometimes I do this as I take a walk in the garden; sometimes I do it sitting in the drawing room. It doesn’t matter where I am – so long as I am in silence and on my own.
When we commit ourselves to regular times of silence and solitude, we are then and only then in a position to see and hear God. And to live our lives in obedience to him.
So this is something we all need to do – before we do anything else at all.
Even Jesus did this.
Jesus regularly broke off from the things he was doing – things as important as healing people and teaching them – and retreated to a quiet place where he could be on his own with God. To recharge. To be re-commissioned.
When we do this, we start to find that our whole day changes. We live less hurried, less self-centred days. And we live more open, more God-centred and other people-centred days.
So give it a try.
It doesn’t have to be long. Five minutes will do. But it does have to be every day. And it does have to be in silence and solitude.
Think of it this way. We have the choice every day - whether to choose the narrow path of following Jesus; or the wide path of going our own way. Jesus says ‘Choose the narrow path’ – because that is the path that leads to life. Abundant life.
And guess what? He is right!