I live in that part of the country that received a healthy portion of snow over the past 24 hours. Then, to add insult to injury, we dropped 40 degrees and the wind has been less than kind. In other words, it has been brutal. In all, the total effect has resulted in the state (or at least my portion of it) being closed down. Now, I can tell you that as an adult snow days are not only welcomed, but secretly wished for. That is, if you have something to do other than dig yourself out of the snow. When they are bored I usually tell my Littles to "find" something. I mean, they have just about anything a child could want: books, coloring books, crayons, tablets, movies (well they have to come to a collective agreement since we only have 1 TV), toys, etc. Seriously, they should be able to keep busy, right? Yet, here I am struggling with boredom.
You see, I've been here, in my home, all alone for 4 days. This is the weekend the Littles were at their dad's, but the weather has shut the roads down so they got an extra day there. The point I am trying to make is that all of this "down time" has really impressed upon me the truth of how much we fill our lives with things. Me included. Each day I have sought something to fill my time. Granted the weather helped because I shoveled, quite literally for hours over the past two days, but it was the other times. I don't watch TV and I found myself sitting there filling time doing that. I have a lot of books that need read, but I couldn't focus on any of them - I tried. I read one of my running magazines, well started to. I ran on the treadmill a couple of times. I played games on my tablet. Had several conversations with people via texting and still I am bored. Still I find that the one thing that I am searching for is not here.
Yesterday church was canceled due to the weather and so Pastor was kind enough to share the message outline on Facebook for us. At first I was so focused on being sad church was canceled that I really didn't take mind of what he shared. In fact, it wasn't until today that it made any sense to me. I think God is pretty awesome that way. He can show us in ways that are very specific to us just exactly how special his word is. Pastor's message: Scripture for today - Mark 6:31: "Come with me by yourselves to a quiet place and get some rest." Now, Pastor has 4 points to this: 1. Come with Me. 2. By yourself. 3. A quiet place. 4. Get some rest. I am sure he would have taken this a completely different direction, but this is what I gleaned from the passage.
1. Come with Me. Jesus said Seek and you shall find, knock and the door will be opened, and ask and you shall receive. He leaves the choice to us. He wants us to come with Him. The Holy Spirit prompts us to follow Him. He wants us to travel with Him, daily, on this journey called life so that when we get to the end of it we will be at His Father's house. You know, in these 4 days I didn't spend as much time with Him as I should. It seems that for me, the easiest time to do so is when I am completely spun. When my thinking and emotion is so out of sorts that I have to neutralize it with the truth of His word. Kind of makes me wonder if I could prevent getting there by simply going to Him on a consistent basis. I know He will never lead me astray.
2. By yourself. It isn't that God doesn't want us to have corporate worship (go to church), but He longs for a personal relationship. He wants to know us individually, intimately. In fact, that is what He wants us to do with Him - know Him intimately and individually. Now, I take my Littles to church. I pray with them and for them. I have tried to show them what a relationship with God looks like, but I can only show them how one looks like for me. They are going to have to develop that relationship personally for themselves. I pray I have done them right. In the same token, I know that I can not have a "rubbed off" relationship. Meaning, I am not 'saved' merely because my friends have close walks, my family does, etc. I have to go to Him myself. By myself. I need to give Him MY undivided attention. He is waiting solely for that.
3. A Quiet Place. To be honest with you, I love the quiet. I love when there isn't any sound in the background. I think that is what I love so much about being in nature - the forest, the mountains, etc. The quiet. But, I live in a house with three very LOUD little girls. I don't get quiet. In fact, we usually have the radio on in the kitchen while we do everything. There isn't much quiet around here until they go to bed. Honestly, by that time, I too am ready for bed. I frequently turn my XM radio off in the van as I'm driving too and from work so that I have time to talk with God. Some days we have epic talks, others not so much. I don't think it isn't that He doesn't have a thing to say, but that I crowd out His words with all the thoughts of the things I need to do pushing Him out. Funny thing is, right now, these past few days, I've had a lot of quiet time. And yet I've tried to fill it with "something" to do.
4. Get some rest. Jesus said, come to me all you who are weary and heavy burdened and I will give you rest. Truth of it is, I think it is my burdens that crowd Him out the most. I sit here and dwell on what I cannot change. I create in my mind what isn't there and focus on what I think is. When the truth of it is, God knows what I need more than anything. He knows the right time in which I need it. In fact, He won't honor any of it until that time. All He is asking is that I merely rest in Him. That I stop trying on my own and let Him do what He does. You know, He does kind of have it perfected!
Perhaps I needed to be snowed in to be reminded of what I need the most. I think in all the busy-ness I've forgotten the most important thing of all, to give time to the one who gave me time.
Enjoy your snow day all...I know I will.