Thursday, June 25, 2009

What's Number One?

“But one thing is needed, and Mary has chosen that good part, which will not be taken away from her.”

Dr. Richard Swenson wrote a book entitled Margins, in which he exposed the epidemic of overload in our contemporary lifestyles. The premise was that when you read a book or your bible, there are purposeful margin areas where there is no print whatsoever. Even though the use of margins is not the most economical use of space and paper (if you eliminated them, you could get more words on a page and save printing costs), margin-less pages would be very bothersome to read. Your eyes and brain would scream out for some kind of reprieve—some white spaces without any ink. And yet it is often true in our personal lives, that we eliminate the margins, filling our schedules from top to bottom and side to side. The result is an active but exhausted life—busy, but lacking productivity. Time for fellowship with God and family are routinely squeezed out so that we may crowd in more of the less important.

Poor Martha! She deleted the margins of her life—scurrying about to do something when what was needed was margin time so that she could be something! There is no sin in rest and repose. Even in this frantic, frenzied, full speed ahead world in which we live, the concept of scripture applies . . . “You shall labor six days and rest on the seventh.” How much better life would be if we would make it a practice of our Christian lives to find some time every day to just sit at Jesus’ feet. There are certainly times that call for us to get up and do something, but they never come before our being refreshed and renewed at the feet of Jesus! Our #1 priority must be time with God (TWG). Be a Mary first—a Martha second. Being is always a pre-requisite of doing!

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

But, I Like It Like That!

We are such creatures of habit. It seems as if we have a natural bent to settle in to familiar places and just be satisfied. Status-quo is the enemy of forward progress -- in your career, your relationship arena, your financial condition -- your marriage -- you name it. The most dangerous place of all to become happy with "good" is in your spiritual health and maturity.

Your relationship with God can easily become like your favorite chair -- well-worn and comfy! It may not be the most beautiful piece of furniture in the house -- stuffing hanging out from under the bottom -- a huge tear in the seat cushion -- stains on the armrest -- but you like it like that! It's just too comfortable to mess with!

So, is often the case with our walk with Christ. We resist the challenge to increase our spiritual aptitude -- we are good with the scripture reading we get on Sundays -- we hang out with other Christians most of the time -- I mean -- I pray every time I eat -- what more can you ask for? And so goes our mediocre, passion-less spiritual existence. And I do mean, existence. That's about all it is.

Why is this true? One reason and one reason only. You're getting ahead of me -- you already know, don't you? You're right -- Cause I like it like that! At this point we have to ask ourselves the really tough questions. Am I in love with Jesus Christ or do I just enjoy His friendship? Has a nominal Christian life become comfortable to me? Do I bristle at the idea of throwing that old familiar chair out in exchange for a new one? If so, God wants to revitalize your life with a fresh wind of His Spirit. Open your heart to newness -- freshness -- LIFE, and you'll not be disappointed!