Sunday, August 04, 2013

Sunday Afternoon Tea

Beware of becoming careless over the small details of life and saying,
"Oh, that will have to do for now."
Whatever it may be, God will point it out with persistence
until we become entirely His."
My Utmost For His Highest
July 31

The above quote by Oswald Chambers is the last paragraph of his July devotionals.  One I found to require a great deal of soul searching.  Where do my thoughts take me at the end of the day when I ponder what was accomplished?  Often there is a feeling of something... undone.

Almost always that feeling leads me back to the lack of quality time spent with the One who matters most.  His loving persistence woos me back to Due North in a life filled with urgent... and sigh... even menial tasks which have lured away my attention.

The devotional that day caused me to stop and ponder what small details I am overlooking... what could I change in my desire to grow a life of depth in a world leaning towards the shallow

I know there are habits which need to be replaced or tweaked.  For instance, perhaps my need to watch the morning news first thing can be switched to a later time so first hours can be given to that which I don't want to ignore.

A change I made already is to make a place where it is easier to get away from distractions.   For I have found that by having a Place helps develop a daily ritual.  Whether that place is on the deck on an early summer morning or curled up at the end of the sofa with a cat and a throw in mid-winter.

Currently on the tapestry footstool in my study-office-sewing room; I have stacked my favorite Bible, a devotional, and the current Christian nonfiction book I'm reading (this one happens to be on the Kindle).

I will join them in the cozy chair with a cup of morning coffee or afternoon tea.  If necessary the itty bitty iPod is on the desk, ready with lovely songs of inspiration should I need my theology set to music.

If that is what I am adding, then what am I taking away?  Well, just for this next week I'm forcing myself to limit all social media.  No "Liking" anything online.  No pins on Pinterest this week.  I don't care how pretty or yummy they look.

What about next week or next month or next year? What will I add or take away?  Like so many other things in my walk with the Lord, I find He prefers to deal with me on a day to day basis, only sometimes extending to a week at a time.  He understands in my finiteness, I do better with 24 hours at a time.

It is not like I am unaware regarding what is of value and what is not.  But giving my time to that I value (like beginning a long novel or a nonfiction book where one must think) takes effort that requires more than fluffing a pillow and searching for the remote.  Just as it takes thought to plan a healthy meal rather than picking up burgers and fries in the drive thru.

Sigh... at least I'm pondering it all now instead of letting the weeks get away from me.  What does the Psalmist ask Him?  "Teach us to number our days, that we may gain a heart of wisdom?"  Indeed...


Bonnie said...

Once again, well said, Brenda. How often I struggle to do the "important instead of the urgent." Or said another way, "the good is often the enemy of the best." I promise you an e-mail soon. We moved back into our house after our 4 month renovation. So much has gone wrong and the workers will still be here for another 3 weeks. The new tub must be torn out and replaced, all of the electrical outlets started having problems (two electricians here all day for two full days!) and about 100 other things still to be done. I am trying to find some peace in it all, but feel like I am getting through most days with gritted teeth and lots of tension pain in my neck and shoulders. This, too shall pass! Bonnie

JayneJeane said...

Thank you for being open and sharing what the Lord is doing in your life. Recently, I had to travel out of town and I wasn't able do my normal web surfing/checking as I do each morning. At first, it was strange and I wondered if I was missing anything instead I had more time to fellowship with the people I love I don't see often and offer my help to my Grandmother she is adjusting to life without her spouse of 62 years. My grandparents don't have a computer and just recently got a cellphone pre-paid mins for emergencys, I realized that it allows them to have a slower pace of life and while I do not believe I am being called by the Lord to put away the web or media devices I have sensed his prompting to be more aware of the time I am spending and more wise in how I spend it those things, thank you again for your post it gently reminded me that I can not forget to do what the Lord has prompted me to do.

rebecca said...

A Place & Theology in Song....two practices/concepts that help keep me grounded. Oh, and the 24 hour thing. I'm much better that way, too.

I've been practicing the "evening and morning" habit, too - in my mind beginning my "day" the evening before. Somehow it works for me.

Anonymous said...

I like the idea of making a place and time for devotions. With my husband's physical challenges, we can't always get out to church but this sounds doable.

Catherine Marshall wrote about when her stepchildren were young, she would get up early in the morning for spiritual and prayer time. It was the only way there were no interruptions.She and her husband had to be careful not to get sidetracked by domestic concerns .

Nana said...

Hi Brenda;
What a thought provoking post! It makes one stop and think about whats really important in life. There is so much rushing and running in our world today. Sometimes we must be still and know God With love and hugs, Nana.

Anonymous said...

Brenda, Its never been easy to be "Mary" in a "Martha" kind of world, but with all the technology I think its even harder today than in the past. As you mentioned there are so many distractions, its so easy to let time slip away. I too find my day is much happier when I stick with my morning/evening prayer and Bible reading routine. And this past year I began limiting computer time, wow..was that ever an eye opener as to how much time I was not using wisely. Once again..thank you for your words of wisdom and encouragement.
God bless you, Marsha

Senkyoushi said...

Thank you. I needed this today. I've been working on eliminating some things from my schedule to allow for what is truly important.

Anonymous said...

Love your thinking and sharing it. We spent part of Sunday watching Christian movies on tv. All of them had a message in them about time on the cell phone and other technology verses time with actual people and life. Your post echoed that. Our internet has been down for several days at a time recently. I noted that once up it really did not take me that much time to go to my favorite blogs and mail to catch up. So going on it only for mail daily...if I usually get daily e-mails from friends would work. Plus going to blogs less often is an easy switch for me. {{now to do it as I am curious as to what great things you and a few others say !! }} Sometimes I think I linger longer as like to do when we read and are already weary when we start being on line tends to dull me and make me more lethargic. Then I keep sitting and looking around . when I actually ask myself if I am happy doing this I am just doing it cause I don't want to move!! :) Then I feel guilty later as the time is gone I could have been doing something better. I have set parameters as to what I need to do Before I get on line and a time limit to be on. If there is something that does not get seen this time it will still be there the next time. When you think we felt our lives did not have enough hours in the day to get things done Before computers...well we have the same 24 hours and now there IS time on the computer etc too! Something has to go and it should not be time with God or actual people in real time. Sarah

Mrs.Rabe said...

I like this. I too am trying to take more time away from the social media. God is good and will continue to help us to grow and change as he desires!


Anonymous said...

As usual, you have opened up an area that I am personally struggling in and one which many of my friends are as well. I read recently that Satan's most powerful tool in this era is to distract us with 'life'....everything seems more urgent than spending quiet time alone listening to God's voice and/or reading His Word. It's insidious how many good things can rob us of this important and necessary part of our lives. Our young people are so busy with all the choices in front of them and the availability of technology to keep them forever 'plugged in' to each other, that the idea of quiet time ALONE is nearly a foreign concept. Particularly frightening is that many Christian young people don't think it's important to BE STILL and know that I am GOD". Yes, Satan is very successful with this ploy of 'busyness' and we as adults must model it for them....the world around them doesn't.