September 3, 2012
When You Feel There’s Just Not Enough Time
“In Him we live and move and have our being,” (Acts 17:28 NIV).
Friend to Friend
“I just never have enough time to spend with the Lord,” Amanda cries. “I work forty plus hours a week, commute ninety minutes both ways, oversee elderly parents’ affairs, and take care of my five-year-old son. I’m either on the road, at my desk or taking care of someone else’s needs. And on top of that, I never feel like I’m doing any of it well. What does God want from me in the middle of all this madness? How can I carve out time for Him? I feel like I’m constantly failing Him!”
Amanda is not alone. I’ve been right there with her. Haven’t you?
We live in a physical realm and our new, born-again spirits will never be completely satisfied here on earth. There will always be tension between the two. Living in union with the Spirit of God is counterintuitive to the ways of this world. What causes that tension and prevents us from experiencing unbroken union with Christ? I believe it is the tendency to compartmentalize life into two hemispheres: the secular and the sacred.
Everyday secular activities vie for our attention, while our times of worship and communion are relegated to Sunday morning worship, early morning Quiet Times, and mid-week Bible studies (if we can fit them in). We spend the majority of our days operating in secular, day-to-day activities and feeling guilty for the lack of time spent in sacred communion with God.
And for most of us, a struggle to find the balance between the secular and the sacred wages war in our hearts. We live in the secular and yet long to be in the sacred. The constant flip-flopping between the two is exhausting, and inevitably we see one as the winner and one as the loser. We see ourselves as failures struggling to get out of Romans 7 and longing to live in Romans 8. We wobble on a spiritual tightrope, fearing the slightest misstep will toss us into the canyon of God’s disapproval.
Thankfully, there is a way to wave the white flag of surrender and end the battle’s constant conflict. We can experience true union with Christ when we erase the dividing line and meld the two hemispheres.
What would that look like? Let’s go back to Amanda.
What if Amanda communed with God while she commuted to work? While she worked at her job? While she took care of her family? Do you see how that would help alleviate the false guilt that adds to her feelings of insufficiency? The physical or secular realm involves cooking, cleaning, ironing, shopping, vacuuming, laundering smelly clothes, washing dirty faces, and wiping messy bottoms. It involves being a wife, a mother, an employee, an employer, a friend, a student, and a host of other roles and responsibilities that merge on any given day. What could be sacred about all that? Everything. But we’ll get to that.
The spiritual or sacred realm includes praying, reading the Bible, going to church, memorizing Scripture, serving the poor and meditating on meaningful messages. The spiritual aspects of our lives include worship and practicing spiritual disciplines.
I want to suggest that God never intended for the lines separating the secular and the sacred to exist in the first place. If in Him we live and move and have our being is true in your life, then the sacred also includes cooking, cleaning, ironing shopping, vacuuming, laundering smelly clothes, washing dirty faces, and wiping messy bottoms. When you erase the lines between the secular and the sacred, your entire life can become an act of worship.
How do you put this into practice? By merging the two worlds. Join me next time and we’ll look at how to do that together.
Dear Lord, Forgive me for compartmentalizing my faith. I want all of my life, all of it, to be an act of worship. No more lines. One wholly holy life.
In Jesus’ Name, Amen.
Now It’s Your Turn
Today, as you do your errands, go to work, clean your house, cook your dinner… invite God along. Talk to Him. Acknowledge His presence.
Today’s devotion was taken from my new book, A Sudden Glory.If you can relate to Amanda, and really need to learn how to erase the lines between the secular and the sacred in your life, leave a comment on my blog post and say, I need this book! Tomorrow I’ll randomly pick three gals and send them a free Advanced Reader Copy.
More from the Girlfriends
Do you long to feel close to God but sense there’s something missing? That you’ve missed that mysterious formula to make it happen? Do have a glory ache – a persistent longing to experience God’s presence and working in your life, but not quite sure how to make it happen? If so, my new book, A Sudden Glory: God’s Lavish Response to Your Ache for Something More, is just for you. Join me in discovering how to erase the lines between the secular and the sacred and experience a deeper more intimate relationship with God than ever before. While you’re there, you can download a free chapter or watch a video book trailer.
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