It’s 6:30am and my husband nudges me gently as he whispers quietly, “Good Morning.” (He knows I can be a beast if not approached with caution). My eyes slowly peer open and I need to get up, but the coziness and warmth of the comfy quilt pulled tightly to my chin causes me to whisper back, “Just ten more minutes”. He claims I am the “cutest thing” in the morning (which I try to work this to my advantage), therefore doesn’t argue as he says, “Okay. Ten more minutes.”
We all know how “just ten more minutes” usually turns out, but I’ll go ahead and tell you what happens in our household. The “ten minutes” turns into 15. And then sometimes 30. But in most cases, for me at least, it turns into 40 minutes. I know! I know! For those of you have to get up for work, you are thinking, “WOW! It must be awful to have the life of a stay at home wife (insert eye roll).” And I get it. I will accept all the eye rolls because I truly can’t complain.
But back to my story…
It’s 7:10ish by the time I stumble out of bed, grab my cup of coffee, and head to my office in the spare bedroom to spend the first minutes of my day with Poppa God. But as I sit down and check the time, I realize that my “snoozing” has left me with less than 30 minutes before Princess “Paul” (that’s what she calls herself) wakes up from her slumber (you can read here why we have a princess staying with us). But before “getting started”, I decide to check my email “just real fast”. What’s a few minutes, right? But friends, just like “just ten more minutes” turns into more than what you anticipated, so does checking one’s email. Because in checking my email, I somehow found myself reading a few blog posts, and the next thing I knew, I had found myself in the black hole I call Facebook. And the next thing after that? I had found myself scrolling my newsfeed, “liking” pictures and reading pointless status updates, I realize it’s nearly 7:45am! WHAT?! Where did the time go? I immediately flip open my Bible, grab my prayer journal, and flip to the right page in my Jesus Calling devotional. Feeling a bit rushed, I look back at the clock and I silently whisper, I have less than 15 minutes.
And for the first 3 minutes, I sat, unable to concentrate because I was ashamed. But let me clear, I was not ashamed about the “length” of time, but rather because the “fifteen minutes” I gave, were leftovers.
God deserves more than just my “leftovers”. I would never invite the Royal family over to my house for dinner and serve them whatever I had “leftover” on my plate or from last nights meal. I wouldn’t even dare, but each day, that’s what happens. I give God my cold leftovers. I call them “cold” because I want to say that the “fifteen” minutes were of “somewhat” quality (warmed up leftovers) but my mind kept wondering to the last blog post I just read, or the pointless status update that still had me “stewing”. I couldn’t even give Him my full devotion.
Our fleshly desires, pressures, demands, expectations, every day tasks and the temptations to just do something “real quick” push in from all sides and fill up our schedules. Do this! Finish that! Be there! Call them! By the end of the day or the end of our “task” and we are done giving our time to others, or in my case, myself, there is little time left to give God.
As I sit here thinking about the leftovers I gave to God, I have come up with lots of excuses. However someone once said to me, “Excuses are like butt-holes. Everyone has them and they stink.” So I’ll spare you my “stinky butt-holes” (sorry Mom for using that word) and just admit that my problem is not the volume of demands or my lack of scheduling skills. My problem is simply my values and priorities–what is truly important to me.
For me, I believe that our values and priorities are reflected in how we use our resources. And time is one of those resources that reflects our priorities. Yesterday, if you asked me if God was the number one priority in my life, I would have said “Pu-lease! I’m a Christian. Of Course!” But today? Today I swallow with a lump in my throat because I have a different answer and it’s not easy to spout out. I have come to realize that my actions, how I use my time, betray my words. I say God is number one, but then I relegate Him to a lesser number on my “to do” list. I fool myself by saying He is my top priority, but my actions of choosing to sleep in a little later, check my email first, and scroll up and down on Facebook show what is number one…they are evidence that prove my real priorities.
Definition of priority: Something that is more important than other things and that needs to be dealt with first.
God deserves the best of me because after all, He only gives me His best. Therefore tomorrow (even though it is Saturday and I get a “pass” to sleep in), I will get out of bed, stumble to the kitchen for that hot cup of
life coffee, and give God the first part of my day, the first of me, and the first of my thoughts. And why? Because I want my actions to come into alignment with my words.
If He is my top priority, then how I treat him 24 hours out of the day, needs to mirror the definition of a priority. He is more important than all of the other things and therefore, time spent with Him needs to be dealt with first.
Today I declare, no more leftovers.
Who declares this with me?
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