Devotion for the Week...
Now that our roads are not covered in ice, I've started running again. I love being out there, running, and I really love the feeling when the run is over and I go through the rest of the day feeling strong because I ran. It's hard to find time to run, though. I try to run three times a week, one of which is usually on the weekend. The other two runs are a little harder to schedule and for a long time I just didn't exercise at all because I couldn't see when I could fit it in. With encouragement from Paul, who is also running, I've started just taking the time, heading out as soon as the kids I babysit are gone home. Supper is often later than we had been used to, but no one seems to mind.
I take time for quilting too. I'll squeeze in a few minutes basting hexies, or set up my machine while Nathan's getting ready for bed so I can sew for the evening. If I can't actually be stitching something, I will at least look through a quilting magazine or read some blogs to see what others are making.
There will always be things we want to do and things we have to do. Often the things we have to do take up way more of our time than we have available for the things we want to do, but there are ways to juggle tasks around to take time for the things we consider important. A little rearranging of meal times and I have time for a run. Having some projects that are easy to work on in little bits of time makes it easier to do a little sewing even on busy days.
I've been reading through the Gospels lately and I find it interesting that Jesus had to take time for something too. "One of those days Jesus went out to a mountainside to pray, and spent the night praying to God" (John 6:12). Jesus was a busy man. He had His disciples to teach and wherever He went He attracted crowds who sought His teaching and His healing power. He needed to spend time in prayer, but His days were too busy, so He spent the night praying.
I'm sure this was a sacrifice physically. We know that, as a man, Jesus got tired just as we do. In fact, He once slept in the back of a boat while a storm raged around them (Mark 4:35-41) which suggests He must have been exhausted. His willingness to spend an entire night in prayer tells us how much He valued that time with His Father.
There are other records of Him taking time to pray.
Mark 1:35 - "Very early in the morning, while it was still dark, Jesus got up, left
the house and went off to a solitary place, where he prayed."
Luke 5:16 - "But Jesus often withdrew to lonely places and prayed."
Matthew 14:23 - "After he had dismissed them, he went up on a mountainside by himself to pray."
I am challenged as I think about Jesus taking time away from His sleeping hours to pray. I don't spend as much time praying as I would like, mostly because I find it hard to have the time. Yet I am able to take time from other things to run, to quilt, even to read blogs. What does that say about my priorities? I am wondering now what adjustments can be made to give me time to spend in prayer.
What about you? Do you pray as much as you would like? Do you have to make an effort to take the time to do so?