In response to a recent blog entry, I got a comment from Chris. He asked, Wayne, I was reading the “sorry” post on your blog the other day and I was just curious what you do to “keep up with your life in Him”?
I thought that was a great question, so I took a stab at an answer. Maybe you’ll find it of interest and help answer it for your life as well. Here’s how I answered Chris:
What I meant by that when I wrote it was that I refuse to give in to the false pressure of deadlines to crowd out the open places in my heart where God makes himself known. I used to be a Type A person, very committed to always getting things done on time even if it exhuasted me. I’m still that way about responsibilities and assignments I am hired to do, but no longer that way about kingdom-related stuff.
For instance, when I started BodyLife we were committed to doing an issue every two months. Now, I do one whenever the time and passion to write something for that publication is there. That means we only did 3 issues in 2005. That was less than I would like, and I know others who want it more often. But I won’t cram my life to the margins any more, because I find that it blinds me to what Father is doing in my life and leaves me too worn out to respond to those spontaneous things Father wants me involved in.
The same is true of my blog. I know you’re supposed to update them often to draw readers to the site. But now I do entries when I have the inspiration and time. Sometimes that’s 3 or 4 in a week. Sometimes that’s none. The same was true of the Jake story. I wanted to do a chapter a month for a year. It turned out to be a chapter every 3-4 months and will take us over 3 years to complete. I know that has frustrated some people, and though I’m sorry for that I refuse to be driven any more by false deadlines.
Ultimately busyness is a great place to hide, from God and ourselves. It gives us an inflated sense of importance and drowns out the still, small voice that invites us to spend some time with him, or connect with another brother or sister that might be incredibly helpful in our day. So for me, “keeping up with my life in him,” means doing what he puts on my heart to do and being still enough to hear that. It means rejecting false expectations from myself and others. And, it means having time to go on walks and tell him what I see going on in me and listening to him. It means spending time reading the Scriptures so I can hear his heartbeat there. It means finding another believer or two to connect with at a heart level be it on the phone or in person. No, I don’t get to all of those things every day, but at least 3-4 times per week I’m taking some significant bits of time to ‘remain in him.’ Those things fuel my passion for him and keep me focused on him throughout the day.
In addition, as much as I can all day, every day, I’m looking and listening to what the Spirit might put on my heart. There are many, many small moments of conversation with God—whether it be on the way to a meeting or going downstairs to get a Diet Coke, pausing before a phone call or after one, or talking to him right at the moment something has freshly come to mind.
It’s not a lot different than the time I carve out with family. Relationships don’t grow without giving them a place. If Sara and I don’t have lots of ‘catch up’ with each other our relationship drifts. We’re focused far less these days on specific routines for that, but making them a real part of our daily lives. That’s where I make time for him too!
How would you answer that question? What do you do to “keep up with your life in him”? You can add your thoughts to the comment section below. You’ll never know how your insights might really encourage someone else.