One morning I overslept. Instead of getting up when the alarm clock went off, I fooled myself into believing I was just going to lie in bed a few more minutes, and then I would get up. When I finally woke up, the clock revealed my few minutes had turned into more than an hour. I bolted out of bed, and so began a mad dash to get ready for work. In my haste to get out of the house, I told myself I’d pray while I was getting dressed. But my racing mind was on everything except prayer. All I could think about were the stops I had to make before I went to work. I had to stop at the ATM machine and I had to get gas. With all I had to do I believed God would understand my heart if I skipped my prayers and scripture reading that morning.
As I raced to get ready for work, the words, “make time for God and He’ll make time for you,” came to me. These words were like a sedative that caused me to halt in my tracks. I knew it was God’s gentle reminder not to leave Him out of the start of an already hectic day. It was bad enough I overslept. I was about to add insult to injury by attempting to begin my day without prayer and God’s Word. I recalled a previous instance when I left prayer and scripture reading out of the start of my day. Things got progressively worse. With that thought, I dropped to my knees and prayed and read my Bible. Making time to pray calmed me down and cleared the confusion that sought to overwhelm me. More importantly, God had specific instructions for me regarding an issue I was facing. Had I not made time to meet with God, I would have missed the direction He had for my life.
I finally arrived at the gas station. As I sat waiting for my tank to be filled, I glanced at my side view mirror. My eyes fastened on the nozzle that was inserted into my gas tank, I heard, “You’ve got to stop long enough to fill up. You can’t fill up while you’re moving.” Memories of what took place earlier that morning flooded my mind. The stop for gas became an eye-opening experience.
When do you stop for gas? Do you stop when your tank is three quarters, or half full? Perhaps you finally pull over when the gauge reaches a quarter full. Some of you may stretch the limit even further by not bothering to gas up until the fuel warning alarm goes off. Even then, you still try to see how many more miles you can squeeze in before stopping. You press on the accelerator thinking that will get you to your destination sooner even though you’re running out of gas. Then when you do finally stop, you only get ten dollars’ worth of gas. With today’s, gas prices, this amount doesn’t get you very far when your tank is already low.
Interestingly, this practice with our cars tends to spill over into how we operate our lives. What’s the reading on your spiritual gas tank? Is it full, half-full, a quarter-full, or near empty? Spending time with God quiets your spirit and allows Him to replenish you, and provide guidance and direction as He reveals His will.
We can get so busy with the busyness of life that we allow over-packed schedules, events, circumstances and people to crowd out time with God. Notice I said time “with” God and not time “for” God. If you’re not careful, you can get so busy working “for” God you have no time to spend “with” God. It goes something like this. You tell yourself you’ll spend time with the Lord just as soon as you finish dinner and clean the dishes. Then you realize the laundry still has to be put away. You finish that chore. When you finally sit down to spend some time with the Lord, you realize you forgot to write out the bills. You make an excuse to justify the interruption; just a few more minutes, Lord, and I’ll stop. Before you know it, the night is spent and once again God is put on hold. You don’t pull over until your spiritual tank is depleted and you’re running on vapors. In other words, all hell has to break loose for you to finally make time for God.
In order to operate maximally and effectively in God’s purpose and plan for your life, you must stop long enough on a daily basis and allow God to replenish you. Imagine trying to fill your car with gas while you’re flying down the highway without stopping. It’s impossible. The gas nozzle wouldn’t be able to make contact with your tank. Yet, that’s how many people try to operate their lives. They run around with a minimal fuel level. They don’t heed the warnings of a rapidly diminishing fuel supply. They don’t slow down, let alone stop and sit still long enough to hear from God.
It’s vital that you make time to be still before the Lord this year. In doing so, you’ll discover that some people, places and things you thought were absolutely essential aren’t part of God’s purpose and plan for your life. If you don’t consult the author of your day, you’ll find yourself getting caught up in the frantic pace of life and pushing God to the back burner more often. Don’t allow yourself to succumb to the dictates of a hectic schedule. Psalm 143:8 says, “Cause me to hear thy lovingkindness in the morning; for in thee do I trust: cause me to know the way wherein I should walk; for I lift up my soul unto thee.” Remember to make time for God at the start of your day and watch what He’ll do for you. That which seems impossible, by the grace of God, will work out for your good and His glory.
As a matter of fact, why not stop right now and make time for God?
Until next time…be blessed!
Reverend Cynthia Jackson