Tuesday, 22 February 2011

Cuppa Soup Faith in the Fast Lane

"Beware of anything that competes with loyalty to Jesus Christ. The greatest competitor of devotion to Jesus is service for Him.” Oswald Chambers

My devotional life is more like a cuppa soup than a four-course banquet. Like a ready meal it’s fast, temporarily satisfying, but provides neither the nutrients needed, nor the time to digest its goodness.

Do I understand the importance of time with God & “feeding on His Word”? Of course.

Do I not enjoy this time or benefit from it? Absolutely not; it’s great & is the bedrock of my life.

So what’s my problem? I have allowed other people & things to set the agenda of my day, week & month (the ultimate form of laziness) and have embraced overbusyness & people pleasing above living out the Greatest Commandment (Matthew 22:37-38).

I suspect that I am not alone in these struggles.

Our society places a high value on busyness. We wear it like a badge of honour (“How are you? How are things?” “I’m busy”) as if to be unbusy means to be lazy or unworthy. We hate to wait at traffic lights & smile at the checkout lady (whilst “mentally maiming” her) if she chats too long to the customer in front. There are never enough hours in the day or days in the week & other people’s priorities our adjudged frivolous by comparison to our “higher calling.”

The problem with busyness is that it leads to hurry... and hurry leads to not noticing others around us or missing the voice of God speaking into our lives.

Overbusyness has infiltrated church life. We rush from meeting to meeting, programme to programme... We meet with people, but aren’t fully present... We spend much time serving God, but invest so little hanging out with God.

I suspect this has its roots in an identity crisis; that we have placed too much emphasis on what we do, and too little on who we are. We have allowed our sense of significance to depend on what we achieve & on how others evaluate our achievements. So we press on, working, working, working to please people & receive their acceptance; craving the buzz that the compliment or word of affirmation brings.

Yet this is an identity that can only deliver momentary satisfaction & ever elusive feelings of love, joy, hope & contentment. We struggle to separate who we are from what we do. We do more of the work of God, but it destroys the work of God in us. It’s not long before a spiritual life once well connected & flourishing for Jesus, becomes dull, dead, empty & languishing.

Thankfully there is an alternative... hopefully see you soon to explore it.

No comments: