This generation was born in a hurry. One of the enemy’s strategies I sense, since down-time, reflection, meditation are so powerful, is to keep us on the edge of frantic. The schedule crowds us, the crowd schedules us, the to-do list gets longer rather than shorter. I can’t remember ever going to bed and saying to myself, “Well, I got everything done I needed to do today.” If I’m not careful, even when I’m praying my day’s schedule keeps scrolling across the screen of my mind attempting to seduce me to abbreviate the time I need with Him.
Then every once in a while He draws me up short. Yesterday I was reading in Ecclesiastes (of all places) and the Spirit called my attention to this strong statement: “Do not be in a hurry to leave the king’s presence. “ (8:3NIV)
Now Solomon wrote that, and I know he was dealing with a different issue, but I sensed that God was using the words to cause me to readjust my personal cruise control. I am convicted that sometimes I am ready to rush off to my next assignment before God is ready. I want to become more sensitive to moving on His clock rather than mine.
In my reflective moments I know that if I do it right, what’s left goes farther than the whole. It’s like tithe, isn’t it? His 90% goes farther than my 100%. My time in His presence does not steal from my day, it augments it. One of the paraphrases of Proverbs 10:27 says, “Reverence for God adds hours to each day.” I’ve seen that happen.
More than once I’ve looked back over the day and realized that if, instead of chopping harder, I had spent more time sharpening my axe the tree likely would have fallen sooner. Can I get an amen? More than once I’ve embarked on a journey because I knew the way, only to discover that had I invested in a map it would have saved me both time and distance. (Ruthie reminds me of this often, but less now that we have GPS.)
I should have learned from Martin Luther. He said something like, “I pray a minimum of two hours each day. Unless I am especially pressed with duties; then I pray three.” The amount of time is personal; the principle is universal. Can I get an amen?
By Don Jacobsen