If you’re like me it’s not so much that work and home and chores keep me too busy for Jesus time, I can excuse myself for those, after all, we HAVE to live life. But what’s surprising is what I choose to do instead of making time for Jesus. I want to practice playing my recorder and my juggling and I want to WRITE. And now I’ve got some juggling clubs I’m dying to learn to use (half-price at Barnes & Noble) but with the recent hand surgery on my right hand still tender and I’m getting the left hand done Tuesday, I’ll have to be patient, and I really dislike being patient! I love to go hiking if it’s not too cold or too hot, or walking in the park. I love sitting in the swing and thinking or reading my Kindle.
One of my Jesus-sisters recently wrote “Today, I had the opportunity to spend the whole day alone with him (Jesus) while my whole family was out of the house and it was horrible.” She ended up frustrated over how the day turned out. I often hear guilt over not making time for Jesus. I thought that since this is such a struggle for so many of us I’d share my response with you.
I totally get what you said about having a whole day with Jesus and then feeling like you blew the time. My biggest struggle has been actually sitting down with Jesus and hanging out. As much as I hammer about it to others, I also struggle to make the time. I piddle my time away, I work on my writing (that word includes website, blogging, formatting, etc) and then climb into bed tired. It’s like I’m living for time alone and then when I have it I don’t use it with Jesus. After Terry died in 2012 I thought how, now that I was single, I’d be able to spend all my time with Jesus—just think how deep I could go and what fun things we could do! After all, I didn’t choose to lose Terry but since I didn’t have any choice I might as well make the most of what I’ve got. And guess what? It didn’t happen. At least, not like I’d envisioned.
There were several reasons for that, like my heart was still raw from losing Terry and I just couldn’t put my heart for Terry aside and run into romance with Jesus. But one thing I’ve learned is that it’s always a struggle to take time with Jesus, no matter how much we love him and want it. The physical world is constantly calling us to chores and work and life, not to mention that we LIKE so many of those callings! I have a million things I want to do, besides the things I need to do, so it’s not like we reach a place where it’s easy to spend all of our time with Jesus and we’re never tempted by other things.
It’s always a choice, every minute of every day, and so many times I choose other things. While I do occasionally feel guilty for it that guilt is something I put on myself, Jesus never puts guilt on us or pulls away, he’s just always waiting patiently for us to come, not judging but just loving us when we do. I once wrote about my attempt at Jesus time and labeled it “Just call me Martha” and you’ll find it here. (http://brendacobbmurphy.com/just-call-me-martha)
It’s funny how often my Jesus times don’t work out like I envision, but he knows our heart and he is ever-loving and patient, always welcoming us with open arms and delighted that we’re choosing time with him. And yet so much of the time I don’t …
You know the saying “the road to hell is paved with good intentions”? My road is an interstate when it comes to my good intentions with God! Every New Year’s resolution ever since I can remember is to “spend more time with God.” And I suck at it, lol. But he loves me anyway, he knows as I run around and write instead of being with him or when I have a few minutes and I jump on my Kindle or enjoy Survivor or Master Chef instead of God time, but he doesn’t love me less or judge me. He just joins me in what I’m doing. He’s the epitome of patience and acceptance. Life has those times where we’re discouraged and want to give it all up, but it’s not necessarily satan or sin or anything except that we get overwhelmed and tired. We only have so much emotional energy to give out and once our daily quota is gone that’s it, we’ve nothing left to give to God or anyone.
Even when it was just my husband and me it was hard, he’d constantly come find me and want to go somewhere or go for a walk or hang out together. And when I’d close the door I’d lock it so he couldn’t knock and me not hear him with my headphones on (to tune out the TV and noises) and then come walking in. He’d totally understand but I would be MORTIFIED if he saw me dancing in my wedding veil with Jesus, lol. Pride, yep, I’ll totally admit it.
Why is it so hard to be truly alone? And yet, when we ARE truly alone we’re lonely and want people! When I was truly alone after Terry died, living by myself for two years, I still struggled to make time with Jesus. I wasn’t lonely, I’ve always loved being alone, but I couldn’t make myself settle down and sit still.
I’ve just reached a conclusion as I think about this: It will always be a choice to spend time with Jesus, whether we have a houseful of excuses and reasons not to or whether we live alone and have all the time in the world. It’s still a choice to do it and it’s still hard to make it happen, because, while it wonderful and enjoyable and we want it desperately, it’s also work and an effort. Which is probably why the whole world isn’t spending all their time hanging out with Jesus!
What are your distractions, the ones that you don’t really have to do but choose to do?