At any given time, we have a list sitting on the counter of things we need from our local stores. Groceries, household items and so on. We keep this list so that as we think of things, we can add them to ensure our trip is as efficient as possible. Our oldest son has a “mental” list that he keeps in his head of things that he wants desperately. When he tells us he wants something, we say “put it on your list”. Our daughter makes lists of her chores and schoolwork, so she can relish the satisfaction of crossing things off (she gets this from me I think).
I used to wonder, what if I were to keep a list of things I needed to do for God?
Let’s see, we need milk, eggs, a prayer for the neighbors mom, a selfless act of kindness… oh, and cheese puffs! OK, sounds silly right? But the reality is that in my daily life, I often give more importance to ensuring that I don’t have to make a second trip to Kroger than I do to honoring the God I serve. Why is that? Am I too busy? According to King Solomon there is “a time for every purpose under heaven.” (Eccl. 3:1). So, in my own slightly OCD way, I make time with God.
In our house We make appointments for everything, and it seems like we have several per week. The kids go to doctors, dentists and school activities. My wife and I have business appointments on top of seeing a dentist or our doctor (I avoid this whenever possible, to my wife’s dismay). Is it absurd to say that I should keep a daily appointment with God? Schedule time for Him? Here is my philosophy on the idea: Make time for Him in whatever way you can to ensure that your time is an absolute. When I “meet” with God it relieves stress, gives me focus, strength, courage and a renewed sense of purpose.
There is no place that I know of that is not appropriate to talk to God. Some might be a bit uncomfortable to have an audible conversation but, thankfully, He is listening whether we speak to Him out loud or in silence. I might spend some time in the car during my daily commute, or while eating my lunch, or in the fast food drive through, waiting for my wife to try on clothes or it might be laying in bed reading scripture that has a special meaning to me for the day.
I have written about putting God first before, and will for years to come. It’s not always easy, not for me anyway, but I realize just how important it is. Weaving the lessons of Jesus into my life has made me a better person, more thoughtful, more creative, a better father, a better husband and more passionate about life and the people we meet along the way. I write these things for everyone, not just Christians. Jesus did not always surround himself with like minded people. In contrast, he spent time amongst those who were as far from Christianity as possible. Some of my dearest friends are not Christians, but they know me and see the ways in which I benefit from my time with God.
Make your appointment with God for today. Put it in your Blackberry if you have to. Pray, even if only for a few minutes, and find your path, one step at a time. And the next time you see something you want, put it on your list.