I'm retired, which means I should have lots of time to spend resting with my Lord. Right?
Wrong! I spend my days doing “stuff” of little eternal consequence, like tinkering with my computer, my trike, my apartment, even my writing. All of it seems important at the moment the need appears to me, but by day’s end I look back and wonder what happened. Each of those things has its place in my life, but time spent with my Lord is a need so easily back-burnered. But He understands.
Yes, He does understand, but His understanding does not exempt me from the consequences of pushing aside my relationship with Him.
Gal 6:7-8 ESV
(7) Do not be deceived: God is not mocked, for whatever one sows, that will he also reap.
(8) For the one who sows to his own flesh will from the flesh reap corruption, but the one who sows to the Spirit will from the Spirit reap eternal life.
And what about the person working hard to earn a living wage? Obviously she will spend each moment not committed to her employment, profitably engaged in spirit-building endeavors.
If only that were true; urgent peripheral jobs, many of which are indeed important, can still crowd her Best Friend out of the picture. So, how can we “Git’er done,” without compromising our #1 priority?
God frequently uses the analogy of a competition for our life in Christ. In any competition, our focus falls simultaneously on two priorities: First, our goal. And second, our process for reaching it. Hebrews 12:1-2 presents the idea of keeping our priorities straight, even in a hectic race. Therefore, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses(men and women of faith throughout history), let us also lay aside every weight, and sin which clings so closely, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, looking to Jesus, the founder and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is seated at the right hand of the throne of God. And Philippians 3:14 reinforces the idea of keeping the ultimate goal in sight: I press on toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus.
But one piece of this puzzle is still missing: How can you and I keep God in mind while pursuing life’s urgencies? The Psalmist raised, and answered, the same question.
Psa 119:9-12 ESV How can a young man keep his way pure? By guarding it according to your word. (10) With my whole heart I seek you; let me not wander from your commandments! (11) I have stored up your word in my heart, that I might not sin against you. (12) Blessed are you, O LORD; teach me your statutes!
Seems odd that the competitive process should figure so essentially in keeping our relationship with the Eternal One ever vital, but the world does compete with that intimate relationship, and life is a dirty competitor. We must not allow our busyness to elbow our Savior out of His position as Priority Number One.