I went to the kids’ award day for the third nine weeks, watched Kathie Lee Gifford’s last Today Show, walked the dog with my husband, Mike, and cleaned out my car. I haven’t washed or cleaned the car since we left Mt. Pleasant in July. It was gross. When I found this devotional book that I’ve had in there for a year or more. I put it in there because I often have a busy schedule. Well, if I’m honest, I ALWAYS have a busy schedule and I need to get in my devotions when I can. Stuck in traffic, waiting at the doctors’ office, waiting in a drive thru line, before I go into work – you get the idea of why I put it in there. You know what? I have used it approximately 3 times. I check emails or I’m calling someone or ….. I’d forgotten it’s in there.
I thought about taking it to my office where all the other prayer books are. But then, I would never use it….except for maybe a staff devotion or a devotion for church.
I subscribe to the (in)courage blogs and I know I’ve not taken enough self-care by how many blogs I have in my inbox. (I have many.). As I was in the massaging pedicure chair, I was reading this blog titled “Here, Take a Moment to Breathe,” and at the end, lo and behold it’s the book that’s been riding around with me for years under my console. Much cleaner, I must say. I got the message loud and clear.
The sermon on Sunday is based on Philippians 3:12-14. The verses are about pressing towards the goal. If we (I) don’t take time to breathe, if we (I) fill up our calendars, even if it’s doing great and worthy stuff, then we’re missing out on the richness of living the daily Christian life. It’s not about getting little Jesus fixes, but it’s about the day to day spending time with our Creator, our best friend, the Spirit that intercedes for each of us.
I’m going to live into these verses, “Forgetting what lies behind and straining forward to what lies ahead, I press on toward the goal for the prize of the heavenly call of God in Christ Jesus.” Not rear view mirror living, but windshield living. Taking it ALL in and straining/leaning/inching/muscling toward what lies ahead. What’s our goal? What are we pressing for? The prize of the heavenly call of God in Christ Jesus? I think it’s what Matthew 22:37-39 says “37 Jesus replied: “‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.’ 38 This is the first and greatest commandment. 39 And the second is like it: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’”
First, we HAVE to stay connected to the TRUE VINE with every ounce in us. Otherwise we are short-changing ourselves in the abundant life that Jesus wants to give us. Second, we have to love people enough to show them Jesus in our every day lives. “Go ye and tell ALL the world” that I have an abundant love for them. I want a relationship with them. If they seek me, they will find me.
I think that’s the heavenly call of God in Christ Jesus – to have our essence be so in tune with the Lord that it shows. That IS our greatest goal in life – our greatest prize! In her final words, Gifford referenced a Bible verse. “Jeremiah 29 says, ‘I know the plans I have (for) you, declares the Lord,’ ” she said, getting choked up, ” ‘plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you a future and a hope.’ That’s not just true for me, you guys, that’s true for everybody watching. Trust Him. Let Him love you like He wants to love you,” she continued. “Like I am loved by all of you.”
Looking forward to Sunday, my friends!