"You need to get your priorities straight. The church needs to be up here in your life." As he said this, the pastor pulled my hand up over my head. He was in the midst of a verbal wrist slap over my not coming to a special dinner that was coming up. I was in the midst of shocked silence.
Later that night, I thought about the idea of service. Was the pastor right? Did I have my priorities crooked? It seemed to me that the service was what he had been referring to. After all, the special dinner required my doing lots of cooking. The more I thought about it, the more I realized that most of the leaders I had encountered consider service being at the church whenever the doors were opened. It's all about church. Otherwise, my priorities are misplaced.
Raising three boys (including a toddler who wants to get into anything and has the cunning and willingness to try), home schooling the older boys, and beginning two new careers takes plenty of time. When I add in all the church services, bible studies, woman's groups, drama teams, and special services it's no wonder that my time seems to just get sucked away.
"Be still and know that I am God." Recently these words began to press on my heart. How long had it been since I was just still with God? I knew it had been at least as long as my oldest son was old. Small boys don't typically give you time to be still.
A book I was reading at the time suggested I pray and ask God to help me find time to be with Him and then to look for His response. If I had understood what my request was going to require, I might have passed. Oblivious to what it meant, I asked God for time together.
The next morning at promptly 4:45 am, that's actually in the morning BEFORE the sun rises, my husband began slapping my shoulder - repeatedly. "What are you doing?" I managed to ask without yelling.
"My arm was asleep," was his muttered reply before falling back to sleep. He wasn't even aware of what he had done.
Sitting in bed, now wide awake, I suddenly remember my request. I thanked God for the time that we would have, but I requested a different delivery system for the future.
That was the beginning of unique wakeups by my Father. One morning had the cat knocking over a dish before running in to the room to jump on me. Another morning had my oldest son yelling in his sleep. The most unique was the morning, just before sunrise, when a squirrel was dangling from my birdfeeder causing it to bang into my window.
Each time, I recognized the answer to my request. No one in my household is a morning person, so first thing in the morning gives me plenty of opportunities to be alone with God. During these hours, I write in my journal, read scripture, do a bible study, or sometimes I just watch the sunrise and listen.
It is through this quiet time with my Father that I have realized that activities are not the answer or the reason. Now I take a moment to ask "do you want this for my life" before I agree to do things. For me, it's not about what I do; it's all about Who I know.