Monday, January 3, 2011

Rice, Eggs, and a Broken Wrist

It's an odd combination for sure but at this point in my life they are all related.  Several years ago,  a friend of mine did a Sunday School devotional for the kids using rice and eggs.  She started out pouring rice into a quart jar.  As she poured, she explained the rice represented the activities in our day--getting up, brushing teeth, getting dressed, eating breakfast, setting about the day's work, eating lunch, taking care of family needs, and the list goes on.  Then, she added eggs to the top of the jar which represented how many of us try to cram our personal time with the Lord in at the end of the day.  Guess what, the eggs would not fit because usually we end up not having the time or we are just plain too tired to give anything to the Lord.  This was not the end.  She got another jar and started out by adding the eggs first which represented giving the Lord our best the very first thing in the morning.  When she started pouring the rice in, the activities of the day filled in around the eggs and everything fit.

My friend shared this with me over 10 years ago but I have NEVER forgotten the message. However, I have not always applied it diligently in my life. In fact, I would say I am usually the person in the above devotional that gets up, gets going, and waits till the end of the day to get in my personal time. I will often wake up and say to myself, "We need to get the day started and I will do my personal time when I eat breakfast or at naptime." IT USUALLY NEVER HAPPENS! To add to this scenario, I am a night owl by nature. I love the quiet of the house after the kids go to bed but it normally becomes a time to catch up on bookwork or homeschool grading. By the time I go to bed, only one thing is my focus--going to sleep.

This has been my life in recent months. Getting up early--going to bed late. When I say late, sometimes between one and two in the morning. Sadly, the most important person in my life was not getting any of my time--the Lord. The Lord started out gently dealing with me about it. Many times He would bring Psalms 127:2 to my mind, "It is in vain for you to rise up early, and to lie down late, and eat the bread of sorrow: but he will surely give rest to his beloved." I would push my Lord to the side with a "I know but I have so much to do and not enough hours in my day to do it." Those earnest pleadings upon wakening to acknowledge Him were ignored. Those nights sitting at the computer working, reading the news, or on Facebook (Hmmm! This one really hurt to have to admit!) when the Lord would speak to my heart and remind me that I could be reading His Word were ignored. I don't know why I even begin to think I could continue in this manner but apparently I did.

What does all this have to do with a broken wrist? Hebrews 12:5-11 says

"5And ye have forgotten the exhortation which speaketh unto you as unto children, My son, despise not thou the chastening of the Lord, nor faint when thou art rebuked of him: 6For whom the Lord loveth he chasteneth, and scourgeth every son whom he receiveth. 7If ye endure chastening, God dealeth with you as with sons; for what son is he whom the father chasteneth not? 8But if ye be without chastisement, whereof all are partakers, then are ye bastards, and not sons. 9 Furthermore we have had fathers of our flesh which corrected us, and we gave them reverence: shall we not much rather be in subjection unto the Father of spirits, and live? 10For they verily for a few days chastened us after their own pleasure; but he for our profit, that we might be partakers of his holiness. 11Now no chastening for the present seemeth to be joyous, but grievous: nevertheless afterward it yieldeth the peaceable fruit of righteousness unto them which are exercised thereby."

Nine weeks ago when I broke my wrist, one of my first thoughts "You have time now!" The Lord slowed my life down considerably. Just as I would not allow one of my children to go uncorrected, Christ does not allow me to go my own way. No, I do not wake every morning and spend an hour or so doing a quiet time but I do start my day with the Lord. Each morning looks different--I may spend time in prayer or doing my Bible reading or doing a Bible Study. I have tried to make it a point not to get the day going until I get the resources I need for the day. Some days the Bible study may be during nap time with my reading at night. Selwyn Hughes states in his devotional book Everyday Light Water for the Soul, "Start the day right and you will end it right."

As this new year starts, I challenge you to take whatever steps you need to make sure Christ has first place in your life. The lessons that God has taught me during the past nine weeks I pray I never forget. The devil is already working to pull me away from that precious time with the Lord. I continually have to remind myself that keeping my relationship with Christ first is the most important part thing I can do for my family. When my heart is not focused on Christ, I cannot keep the focus that serving my family is actually serving Him. All that we may SEEM to accomplish is not any type of accomplishment if it is done without Christ leading and guiding us.

I pray your year is one of growth in your walk with the Lord and full of blessings.