I've been praying, especially since the sermon on Sunday and our weekly chapter from our small group study of "The Christian Atheist." (Which by the way is a great and challenging book that I highly recommend, but that is another post in itself.) We were challenged last week to truly seek God's help in making changes in our life that we've considered "impossible" or just ruled out by saying "I'm just this way..." "I can't do that..." etc. We were challenged to ask God what it is we need to change.
Today, God said, "Time."
I've been thinking for a long time about how much time I spend on mindless things like facebook. But honestly I don't think I wanted to change that. I knew it was a lot, but somehow I justified it because when I come home from work in the evenings, I just want to sit for a little while and think about nothing, so...to the computer I go.
But so often I say, "I don't have time to do...." or "I used to write encouraging cards so often, but lately I just don't have the time..." or "I wish I had more time to read..."
Well, I realized today, I DO have time. It's just the ways I choose to spend my time that make it disappear. What if instead of refreshing a silly facebook page to see what everyone is up to every five minutes I spent that time writing a card to a friend who needs encouragement? What if instead of sitting on the couch doing nothing, I enjoyed couch time while reading that book I wish I had time to finish? What if instead of letting myself feel down and discontent because I'm not in grad school/married/having children/overseas/still in college with friends/you fill in the blank with whatever "exciting thing" other people are doing and I'm not...I spent time focusing on the task God HAS given me right now...looking for ways to lead and encourage the 550 kids He has provided for me to love and care for and be an example to each day? What if?
So instead of, "what if?" now I need to say, "Why not?" I had considered the other ideas before, but God really spoke to me and showed me that it is all of those things combined into the time they take that distract me from growing closer to Him.
God has also been teaching me about distractions. Especially since the Spring. At that time, He gave me the courage to deal with a situation that was somewhat distracting, and my heart had a peace about it. Then, for the entire summer, I fought that distraction in my mind, lingering over it time and time again, thinking it could never go away. And suddenly, God was faithful in helping that distraction to fade. Then, yet again, He surprised me by turning that mirror around for me to see myself and saying, "Don't BE a distraction." Whoah, God. Me? A distraction? But how? I'm not the kind of person who can be...." and yet again I felt on my heart, "Don't be..." And so I have been able to calmly set aside the distraction to me, and myself as a distraction, focus on how I can grow in Him, and seek the desire to be like Him with ALL my heart.
Of course I don't always understand His ways, but as Solomon shared through his wisdom,
"The Lord directs our steps, so why try to understand everything along the way?" -Proverbs 20:24-
Today, God said, "Time," and I'm ready not to simply listen, but to follow...with my Heavenly Father in the lead.