“But seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be added to you.” Matthew 6:33
I do not know about you, but weekends around our house can be crazy. Normally it is an enjoyable kind of crazy, yet still very hectic.
For our family Friday means buying groceries, paying bills, and trying to catch up on whatever housework got pushed to the back burner throughout the work week. It is a day that we try to catch up from the busy week and get ready to enjoy the weekend.
This past Friday was parent teacher conference at our school which meant a day off for us. That should have made for a pretty easy day, right? Wrong! It was nonstop craziness from the instant my feet hit the floor. Truth be told the whole weekend was that way. Each day held something different for us to do.
By the time we got home from church yesterday afternoon, my house looked like a tornado had come through. Things that are normally taken care of on a daily basis had been pushed to the side to make room for a variety of different activities.
As I surveyed the damage and thought about all the things that needed to be accomplished before the time came to leave for our evening service, I began to feel a little overwhelmed. Okay, I am sure if you could ask my husband he would give you a different description. I was running around like a mad woman. In my frustration I made the decision that I did not have time to accomplish everything I had on my to-do list AND go to church, so I said to my husband, “We are not going to church tonight. I have too much to do and I will never get it all done in time.”
I passed out chores to each of our children, and I myself settled in to make sense of what was once my kitchen. As I was washing dishes and putting clean ones away I felt God speak to my heart about the decision I had made to stay home rather than go to church. I realized in that moment that church was not the problem. I realized that my own lack of self-discipline and time management had brought me to this point of mounds of laundry and dirty dishes.
At that realization, I told my husband that I was wrong and that it was not right for me to put off going to church just because I felt I had other things that needed to be done. I made the commitment right then to do as much as I could in the few hours I had and then to go to church and worry about the rest of it later.
I wish I could describe to you the peace that came over my heart at that moment. It was as if God had laid His hand on my shoulder and said, “I have got this.” The rest of the afternoon went smoothly. It felt almost as if God slowed time down. I can not sit here this morning and tell you that everything got accomplished and that my house was spotless before I left, but I can tell you that I had a peace in my heart that I had not felt at the beginning of this ordeal.
So many times we take this same attitude in life. For some reason we want to make God and church the problem. We make up so many excuses: Church is too much trouble. I have too much to do. Saturday is busy, so I need Sunday to rest. Sunday mornings are crazy and I do not have time to get up, get the kids ready and be to church on time. Wednesday is busy, I can not get home from work in time to go to church. By the time I get home from work, I am too tired to go anywhere.
So many times we have no trouble making up excuse after excuse as to why we can not go to church, or why we can not spend time with God. I will be the first to admit that I do the same thing. So many times I find myself making up some excuse why I did not have my quiet time with God, or why I can not go to church this day or that.
We must realize that this is how the devil gets his foot in the door of our heart. If he can magnify our problems, or the things we have to do, then often times we will make the decision to put those things before God. The devil wants us to get our priorities out of order. He wants us to focus more on the things that are around us than the cross that is before us. We have to learn to recognize the tricks that the devil plays and know how to resist them.
I understand how busy life gets. I understand that sometimes work does keep us from being at church. I am not telling you to quit your job if it keeps you from being at church every time. I am simply asking that we look at our list of priorities. I believe that we need to be in church as often as we can. This is the place that we come to worship and refill. God created the church to be a place where we can get together with other believers and share our struggles and learn from God’s word.
I want to encourage you today. The next time the devil tries to get you to believe that you are too busy for God or church, take a moment and look at your priorities. What is really important? Can that load of clothes wait until you get home from church? Will it hurt for the dishes to sit for one more hour? Can you choose something different to cook for supper that may not take as long? Could you work your schedule around so that you can be home in time for church? Can the trash wait until tomorrow to be taken off? These are just a few ideas that I have found to get around the excuses that I come up with in my mind.
Simply put: Life is all about the choices we make. Life is about our priorities. We make time for the things that are most important to us. What does your priority list look like? I pray today, if in looking at your list of priorities you find they are a little, or a lot, out-of-order, that you will allow God to work on that. Ask God to help you get your priorities in order. Ask Him to show you the things you need to change in order to get it right.
God is never too busy for us, may we never reach a point where we are too busy for Him.