Thursday, January 14, 2010

Time Usage as an Act of Worship

“Now you will notice that nothing throws him into a passion so easily as to find a tract of time which he reckoned on having at his own disposal unexpectedly taken from him [...These moments] anger him because he regards his time as his own and feels that it is being stolen. You must therefore zealously guard in his mind the curious assumption “My time is my own” [...] His own personal birthright.”

C.S. Lewis, The Screwtape Letters

I believe I have been convicted on my time-usage.

This conviction wasn’t one of those hit-you-over-the-head moments; it was more of a gradual awakening.

Last semester, I practiced a “No” policy, meaning I would say, “No” to anything extra. It was honestly a discipline for me, since the majority of my life has been a “Yes” to everything extra. Everything is interesting to me, I want to help out when I can, and I want to stay busy. I noticed, though, a pattern in my life: too many tasks, not enough time for relationships.

So my “No” policy did indeed give me more time to become available to those around me...theoretically. Yet the more I think about last semester, the more I call to mind the hours I spent getting into various shows on Hulu than spending time building relationships. Hm. Not a very wise use of my time.

Urbana reminded me of the thirst that has been present: the thirst for people, for my church family, and for singing unto the Lord. I have been thirsty, friends. And though I kept praying for opportunities to sing, grow, and belong, I made no sacrifices—no efforts.

That’s changing. I asked many in my church family to pray for my Sundays off, I asked my boss for Sundays off, and Jesus is answering such prayers. I am offering my body as a living sacrifice for worship. Yes, I may become busier than last semester, but I believe this sacrifice will bring more good than harm. God will protect me from exhaustion; God will build me up. I know it. I will grow closer to my community and to Jesus through this “spiritual act of worship.”

I also have been rethinking what it means to “Remember the Sabbath and keep in Holy.” Though a day of rest is good for anyone, I think that the word, “Holy” is key here. Last semester, Elliott and I had the sheer joy to experience our “Sabbath Mondays” together. This semester, I am offering my “Sabbath Sundays” to the Lord, completely focused and dedicated to doing HIS work. It’s not a day for me to chill under my own pretenses, but a day to offer myself to him fully.

“The man can neither make, nor retain, one moment of time; it all comes to him by pure gift.”

C.S. Lewis, The Screwtape Letters

7 comments:

  1. I hope to read the screwtape letters eventually. They are so fascinating to me from all the quotes I've read of it. As for your entry; it is beautiful to see how much you are growing and it continually inspires me as well. Thank you for that.

    ReplyDelete
  2. The book is fantastic. I gain something new from it every time I read it, or even just page through it.

    Thank you for growing with me. I sincerely appreciate your comments.

    ReplyDelete
  3. ouch, this is stepping on my toes! I do think of my time as my own, and too often want to "get my devotions done" so I can relax! I also feel intimidated by making the whole Sabbath day focused and dedicated to the Lord's work; how do I do that? Doesn't it sound tiring and difficult? Any thoughts on what this really looks like and how to grow in it?

    ReplyDelete
  4. Thanks for the provocative questions. :)

    First, let me say that I too have difficulty staying in the right mindset when doing devotions. Even when I was in Urbana (helloooo-a conference about GOD), I found myself wanting to rush through prayer so we could get to the main session. It's in those moments I have to stop and remember God and who he is. Really. Everything else can wait. God controls everything; if we make the effort to fully dedicate our time and at least attempt to focus on him (or pray for the grace to!), he will bless our time in abundance...even if it's not the way we expect! But yeah, I am very "task-oriented," and it's been a discipline to realize and remember that God takes priority over such tasks.

    Secondly, about the Sabbath: I think those who are wives of ministry men (ahem) have difficulty with the Sabbath because we certainly do have extra things --sometimes "work"-type things--that make it not so much a "Sabbath" as another work day.

    But read this commandment in Deuteronomy 5: "Observe the Sabbath by keeping it holy, as the Lord your God has commanded you [...] Remember that you were slaves in Egypt and that the Lord your God brought you out of there with a mighty hand [...] Therefore the Lord your God has commanded you to observe the Sabbath day."

    I think, on the one hand, there is a way in which our Sabbath has become such a thing where it's difficult to not do work. There may be no escaping that, but we are called to remember the Lord who brought us out of our sin. I think it's important to be deliberate about remembering the Lord. We fail to do this consistently, so what does it take for us to remember him at least ONE day out of the week? I've realized that I need to sing. I need to be in a place of worship on the Sabbath. I need to be in community. I would say...ask God to reveal himself and his desire for you, Evie. How does he want YOU to remember him on the Sabbath? Maybe it's planning to go for a walk and asking someone to watch the boys for an hour, or maybe it's being with the boys, or maybe it will change every Sunday. But I think it could be different for every single person that God made unique and wonderful. He has a special way for you to enjoy and remember him on the Sabbath.

    I hope that doesn't sound relativistic; that's not how I mean it. There really doesn't seem to be a pat answer out there for everyone on this topic. Just seek the Lord and ask for revelation and for new joy and understanding to come into your Sabbath day. I will ask God for you too. :)

    Sorry for the rambling!!

    ReplyDelete
  5. thanks for all your thoughts and feedback. more to pray about!

    ReplyDelete
  6. thanks for all your thoughts and feedback. more to pray about!

    ReplyDelete
  7. I hope to read the screwtape letters eventually. They are so fascinating to me from all the quotes I've read of it. As for your entry; it is beautiful to see how much you are growing and it continually inspires me as well. Thank you for that.

    ReplyDelete

Please comment -- and remember to be nice!

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...