My life is busy – ridiculously so. I won’t bore you with a laundry list of activities or make you play a lightning round of “Whose Life is Busier?” I know you know what I mean because I know we all live our own version of crazy. We’re doing this fast-paced thing called life together. We’re all learning what balance looks like in our everyday lives.
Sometimes balancing the duties and responsibilities of our professional, personal, and church lives feels like a juggling act. And even though I’m a little embarrassed to admit it, I even struggle at times to balance my spiritual life with every other area of my life.
For the past six months or so, I’ve been keenly aware of the Lord’s desire to see me step into deeper relationship with him. And while I knew what he was calling me to do, I had no idea how to get there or what deeper fellowship would – or should – look like. I knew I needed something more than just a quick five-minute devotion shoved into my morning routine.
I wanted more of him, but I had no idea how to get to him.
I knew I desperately needed to spend quality time with him and in his word, but I didn’t know how to fit it into my schedule. I was doing so many “good” things within ministry and my professional life that my free time was already spoken for. So I just trudged along, ignoring his pull on my heart.
About a month ago, my church started advertising an intensive, 34-week discipleship Bible study that spans the majority of the Bible, teaches you a good bit of Bible history, and takes you to a deeper level in your study of the Word. The study requires a huge commitment – daily independent readings and reflections along with a weekly 2-hour meeting with the whole group. The weekly meetings were scheduled for Tuesdays – my only free night of the workweek.
I prayed about it, and I felt certain the Lord was asking me to do the study. Even though I was sure it was something he was leading me to do, I really struggled to commit to the study. It’s definitely one of the hardest things I’ve ever had to do.
I’m three weeks in, and I’m still struggling to give the daily readings my best. I’ve already missed a several of the daily readings, and I’ve had to double up. I’m having to learn to balance all over again, but it’s been totally worth it.
One of the first chapters I read in my independent study was Psalm 84, and the first four verses seemed to literally jump off the page at me –
1 How lovely is your dwelling place,
2 My soul yearns, even faints,
for the courts of the Lord;
my heart and my flesh cry out
for the living God.
3 Even the sparrow has found a home,
and the swallow a nest for herself,
where she may have her young—
a place near your altar,
Lord Almighty, my King and my God.
4 Blessed are those who dwell in your house;
they are ever praising you.
Verse 3 resonated in my heart. The birds found their home near the altar. So many times we ask the Lord to make his home in us, but shouldn’t we be making our home in him? That verse became the heart of my daily prayer – that I would seek him out and make my home in him.
The connection of that verse in my heart and mind has made all the difference in my spiritual walk. I am acutely aware of my responsibility to seek him first, with all my being, to find him and make my home there. I’m learning to make him my first priority. It’s been a hard road and one not without struggles. I’ve failed many times, but I’ve resolved to keep going, to keep running after him and his heart. I want all he has for me, every last drop.
Like me, you may be wondering how to make more time in your life for Christ. For me, it’s been an uphill climb. I’m learning the difference between living a life that feels full of duty and obligation and one that runs after Christ with complete abandon.
I’m a people person who has an innate desire to stay busy. I’m also a people pleaser. I’m involved in a few local ministries, and I’m active in practically every area of ministry my church offers. I’m having to learn to say no some good things to make more time for the best thing.
I’m also learning to cull the excess from my life to create intentional space for more time with the Lord. I cancelled my cable so the temptation of spending my free time vegging out on DVR marathons is no longer there.
What might pressing toward Christ look like for you?
Maybe it’s joining that community group you’ve been considering.
Maybe it’s waking up 30 minutes early every morning to spend more time in the Word.
Maybe it’s asking a group of friends to do a Bible study with you.
Maybe like me, it’s learning to say no to good things and creating intentional space in my life for Christ.
No matter how you decide to make more time for the Lord, just know it’s worth it. Learning to make our home in him is something we’ll never regret.