Devotion for the Week...
I have a couple of friends I sew with on Monday nights. They enjoy making quilts, but if they don't have a project for a couple of weeks, or if they have are too busy to sew for a while, it doesn't really bother them. They enjoy quilting, but it isn't a passion for them.
Then there's me. They probably think I'm a little weird, or maybe that I'm completely insane, I'm not sure. Maybe I should ask them. I have so many projects on the go at one time I am probably never going to run out. Anytime I finish something, I start right in on one of the many other ideas that are swirling in my head, or just a random one that catches my attention. If I go a couple of days with no sewing at all, I start to feel a bit antsy, anxious to get back to my machine. I am passionate about quilting.
Whether your interest in quilting, or any other hobby, is a passion, a slight interest or somewhere in between really doesn't matter in the long run. How much time and mental energy you want to devote to a hobby has no consequence one way or the other. It is entirely a matter of personal preference.
Not so with our pursuit of God. Our desire for God's presence and for His Word should be passionate. Psalm 42:1,2 says, "As the deer pants for streams of water, so my soul pants for you, O God. My soul thirsts for God, for the living God. When can I go and meet with God?"
Have you ever been really thirsty? Remember how much you thought about and longed for that glass of water that would quench your thirst? That is how we should feel about spending time reading the Bible or praying. That is how much we should think about and long for times when we can be in God's presence. Our pursuit of God should look more like my passion for quilting than like my friends' interest in it.
I have a confession to make. Lately, my pursuit of God has been more like an interest than a passion. If I didn't read my Bible for a couple of days (or even more than a week) I barely gave it a thought. Prayer has been reduced to a few moments here and there, scattered throughout my day, whenever something came to mind and I prayed a couple of sentences and then moved on. Any deer that drank from the stream that rarely would be dead.
I have always tried to fit God in at the end of the day, when the boys were tucked into bed and I could read in peace. Except, when they did go to bed, I found I was quilting or reading or watching TV with Paul. Pretty much anything except reading my Bible. So I have made a change. I am setting my alarm clock 30 minutes earlier to give myself a dedicated time to read my Bible and pray. The only reason I'm out of bed at that time is to be with God. That works well to limit the distractions.
I have found that the more I quilt, the more I want to quilt. I have found it with other interests in the past too. I am hoping that the same will be true of this time with God. The more I do it, the more I will look forward to it and the more I will feel a day isn't complete without it.
Today is my fourth morning with this new schedule and I find I really enjoy those few minutes at the start of my day. It may not seem like much, but it's a lot more than I was getting a couple of weeks ago and I don't miss that little bit of sleep as much as I thought I would.
Where are you in your pursuit of God? Is it a passion you anticipate and long for, or is it an interest you enjoy when you can fit it into your schedule? Is there something you could change to make more time for God, to give yourself a dedicated portion of your day free from the distractions of everyday life?
Wherever you are in pursuit of whatever hobbies you enjoy, I pray you would join me in pursuing God more passionately.