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“I have calmed myself and quieted my ambitions. I am like a weaned child with its mother; like a weaned child I am content (no longer ravenously seeking self-satisfaction)” (Psalm 131:2).
While visiting friends in another country, we were somewhat surprised when they announced that they were inviting many neighbors into their home to meet us. While their house is comfortable and certainly adequate for a few people, we wondered how a larger group could be accommodated.
Imagine our surprise on the appointed evening to see more than twenty people comfortably seated. Our hosts had moved most of the furniture out of the room. Chairs lined the edges of the space and one low table in the center was laid with plates of cookies and pots of tea. The room had been rearranged for this new purpose.
Many Christians desire a deeper relationship with God, hearts ache for an intimacy not yet experienced. Books are read, seminars attended, groups formed for discussion and prayer, but little change occurs.
Could it be that our lives need rearranging?
Some pieces of furniture—activities, responsibilities—may need moving out of the schedule. We may need to learn how to use available time—the chairs—more wisely.
In her book, Sacred Rhythms, Ruth Haley Barton beautifully writes about how often our lives, even our religious lives, crowd out the spaces where God wants to meet us. She emphasized that we must make a concerted effort to arrange our lives for spiritual transformation, perhaps unplugging technology, clearing the calendar, creating extended time for our souls to meet with God. Our Father will meet us whenever we make room for Him.
God, I put so much furniture into my life that I often crowd you out. Help be become a better “interior decorator.” Amen.
Questions: Are you crowding God out of your life with too many activities? Which activities would you consider would need to be the first to be set aside?
About the Author Marilyn J. Ehle