Make Time To Take Time

Judges 13:15, “Then Manoah said to the angel of the Lord, ‘Please, let us detain you so that we may prepare a young goat for you.’

Busy, busy lives. I’m sure you know exactly what I mean. As soon as some of you read that intro you started nodding your head in agreement. In fact, if you’re anything like me, you might have even let out a deep sigh. For many people life has become a blur. The routine of daily living and the demands of our overly hectic schedules leave us feeling overwhelmed. Seemingly endless commitments, appointments, responsibilities, and obligations wear us out and eventually wear us down. Days become weeks. Weeks become months. Finally, we wake up one day asking ourselves, “Where did this past year go?”

Take today for example. I woke up at 6:00am. It takes me about 45 minutes to get myself out of the house. Add on a 45 minute commute to work. Couple that with 11 and a half hours at work. Add in another 45 minutes to get back home. And before I even have time to blink it’s already 8:00pm. In the next few hours I will try to finish my accounting and marketing homework, complete and post this devotional that you are currently reading, and try to spend some time with my family. And just so you know, I am completely out of gas by 10:30 pm at best (probably later tonight because of the homework). That leaves me with enough time for a short nap before I have to get up and do it all over again tomorrow.

Now, here’s the truly sad part about the whole thing. I didn’t have a quiet time this morning. That’s right. No devotional reading. No time in the Word. My prayers were lifted up in the shower. Now, I will tell you right up front that I am not into legalism. I believe that the grace of God allows for our weaknesses. I will also tell you that I do love the Lord. I didn’t wake up this morning angry and defiant, purposely choosing to ignore time alone with Him. It didn’t play out like that. If anything, it’s probably the same thing that most of you reading this have done. I started out with really good intentions. But the weariness from yesterday combined with the press of today forced me into a corner. I had to make a choice. And today I chose to rush off without spending any time with Him.

While praying and thinking about today’s blog I came upon this portion of the story of Samson. Immediately I was hit with the thought that Manoah made a very deliberate choice. I’m sure he was a man with responsibilities. I’m sure that he had his obligations and commitments. But in spite of any potential pressing demands, Manoah chose to make time to express his appreciation and gratitude. He interrupted his schedule. He adjusted whatever plans he had previously made for that day. God had made a guest appearance and Manoah was not going to waste the opportunity. He made time in order to take time to worship and thank the God who had just changed his life.

Personally, I find myself once again challenged by my own misguided priorities. Does an extra 15 minutes at work really make that much of a difference? Surely, the TV show that I watched last night could have been cut short. And I seriously doubt that the snooze button needed to be reset 3 times this morning. To be entirely honest, I spent the entire day feeling “out of step.” I was overly stressed by little things. I struggled with emotions that usually don’t get the upper hand. I complained. I bemoaned my circumstances. And I am sure that it’s because I didn’t make time for God this morning. I am 100% positive that my one choice to say “no” to God set me on my path of frustration.

I want to challenge each of us today to evaluate the use of our time. If we find ourselves too busy for time with God, then we are too busy. Period. Many of us we will need to be far more intentional. We will have to learn to say “no” to other things that steal away our time. We will have to walk in a greater measure of discipline in some regards. Some decisions will need to be made differently and some choices will have to change. But it needs to happen. Well, I know it needs to happen for me. I want to be like Manoah. He was a man who was blessed with an unexpected grace. God gave him something he neither earned nor deserved. And in response, Manaoh decided that such a God was worth his attention, such a God was deserving of his time. Grace and undeserved blessings? Can’t say that my life is really any different. And so, I guess I will seek to do the same. I’m going to make time to take time with God. I hope that you will do the same.

Now, I need to get started on that accounting homework ;)

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