Friday, October 19, 2007

What Path Are We Taking?

Tim’s sermon this past Sunday has really gotten me to thinking. He preached on the Good Samaritan from the book of Luke. He was talking about how we pass people by without even thinking about what their needs may be. Something we probably all do to some extent.

While I was reading that scripture, it actually brought something else to the forefront of my mind; in the scripture it was talking about basically a stranger on the road and everyone was passing by. But what about when we do that to people we already know. I think it’s something we have probably all done if we think about it. I’m not proud of it, but I know I’ve done it. You see someone coming down the aisle toward you in the store that you really don’t want to see. So rather than stop and say hello and ask them how things are going, we quickly turn and begin to take another path. Maybe they are someone who is not the greatest friend, or someone who has said something unkind to us or about us. It could be any number of reasons. But the bottom line is its just excuses. Just like its just excuses even when they are strangers and as Tim said, “We walk right past them and leave them in the ditch.”

It’s bad enough when we walk past a stranger who truly might need some help or just a smile from someone to brighten their otherwise dismal day. But when we walk passed someone we know or turn and take another direction rather than communicate the compassion of Christ to them that is just as bad.

I don’t really know if either one is any worse than the other. What I do know is that neither one are pleasing to God. Jesus showed compassion to every person he ever came in contact with. How are we going to be Jesus with skin on to the world, if we won’t even look the world in the eye? Sometimes just having eye contact with someone can change the focus of their day. Imagine what a smile could do or even a compassionate spoken word. I believe that God puts people in our paths for a reason. How many lives would be changed if we continued on the path that God is leading us down rather than taking a detour when we see something coming up ahead that might not be exactly where we thought we needed to go? My prayer is that we don’t miss those opportunities by being too focused on ourselves to notice that there are people lying in the ditch just waiting for someone to notice them. My prayer is that we will bold enough to take the paths that God is leading us on.


Friday, October 05, 2007

Are We too Crowded for God?

My life of late feels kind of like walking a tight rope. I have been at my new job for over a month now. I love my job, but man do I miss "my time". I have been blessed beyond measure to not have to work a full time job for the past 21 years. And I also have a new respect for those who have no choice but to work. Even though I love my job and I am working mainly because I want to, adjusting to working is still a bit of a challenge.

I had gotten used to having my own time. Time to study God's word, time to read, time to just relax. And I know for those who have to work and have no choice, they probably want to call the "whambulance" right about now! :) But finding a balance between working, family, activities, relaxing and time with God has become a real challenge for me. By the time you get home it's time for dinner or time for church or time to go to one of your child's activities or time to go to a small group or just time to fall down and collapse!!

My life has gotten too crowded. We always make comments like when I just get done with this or that things will be better and slow down. The reality is, things rarely slow down. And since they don't slow down, are we going to just let life continue to crowd in on us more and more? The more crowded our lives become, the more we are crowding God right out of our lives. We get so busy and so tired that God becomes put on the back burner. Sometimes he's not even on the burner at all. How busy and how crowded are we going to let our lives get before we crowd God completely out? And the more we crowd God out, the more Satan begins to creep in.

Church, jobs, kids, family, etc... I know those are things we all juggle every day. But I know for me, I've got to stop making my time with God one of those things I juggle. The way I used to spend my time has changed. I've got to learn to deal with it. I've got to remember that as life starts crowding in on me, I've got to continue to give God room to push to the front. I can't crowd Him out. Because only when He gets placed back in His rightful position will things begin to feel less crowded in my life.

Blessings!! And have a great weekend!