What greater convenience than to pop a frozen lasagna in the microwave while you quiz Emma on her spelling words, fold clothes with one hand, and feed the dog with the other? Twenty minutes later, you have a piping hot morsel, ready to dish out.
Ah, convenience. With so many things on our agendas anymore, there’s no time for a REAL meal, and besides, the microwave meal is just as good, isn’t it?
Recently, I had this same discussion with my friend Amy, only it wasn’t over lasagna.
“Karen,” she said, “I don’t have time for anything extra—it’s ball practice for Kyle, ball games for Logan, dance lessons for Grace…” She sighed.
I nodded, knowing exactly what she meant. “Same here, Amy. My own projects only leave me with a paltry five or six hours of sleep a night.”
And then the confession took a twist.
Looking sheepish, she said, “I don’t even have time to fit my daily devotion in anymore.”
My head snapped to attention. “You what?”
She nodded. “I’ve got a few more weeks of ball and then we’ll have tournaments. I can catch up on my Bible studies for a few weeks, but then in the fall we start basketball…”
I look at her in amazement. “Don’t you miss the Lord? Don’t you want to read the Word?” And then in exactly 2.7 nanoseconds it dawned on me that I’ve done the same thing in my Christian walk. Of course she wants to read the word. But here’s the real world: The alarm clock wakes you at 4:30 a.m. You need to get up and have your alone time with God. But you got home so late the night before from Boy Scouts and you are so tired this morning, you think God won’t miss this morning, right? You can read and catch up at lunch at the office. Right?
My choices are:
a) Work through lunch to finish the project my boss forgot to tell me about until just before he went to lunch that will keep me an hour later, which I can’t do because it’s my day as carpool mom, and I already skipped out once last week. Or;
b) Spend time with the Lord.
Well, there’s always tonight after the kids go to bed, right? Somewhere between brushing my teeth at 10:17 p.m. and taking my contacts out at 10:39, maybe I can read an entire chapter of the Bible.
Wait a minute…
When did I turn Him into a microwave Jesus?
I know… I know… I can see your head shaking. But I don’t have time! Don’t misunderstand me. I’m not saying we should randomly start marking things off our daily list to make time for the Lord. (Well, I guess we don’t need clean clothes this week…). God knows how busy we are. Instead, slowly and painfully I began to simply ask God to show me where I am wasting time in my day that He wants for Himself. For me, it began with the snooze bar.
At least it was the snooze bar the first time I found myself behind in my studying.
The comforter is so cozy at 4:30, the pillow so perfectly molded to the shape of my head. But as I lay there one morning, arm extended and all set to push my beloved snooze bar, God spoke to me in a whisper audible over even the loudest alarm. “Here is the time you thought you didn’t have to spend with me.”
Well if that didn’t pop my eyes open, nothing would.
For six months, I routinely woke each morning and had breakfast with my Lord over my Bible. But then something weird started to happen. I woke up at the normal time, and on my way to the dining room table, I would remember something I needed to do—such as a load of clothes to go into the dryer, or a toy to pick up so someone wouldn’t trip. And then somehow in a blink of an eye I would look up and see that I’d lost half an hour from my morning. I know I got up on time, so where did my time with the Lord go?
Soon, an entire week and then two weeks had slipped by, and I hadn’t studied one chapter out of God’s Word.
One evening I was shaking my head over it while surfing the Internet for the perfect trendy-yet-functional Bible cover. Gee, I wondered, why is there so much to do in the morning that I’m missing out on my study time again? Then I heard it again. The loudest whisper you’ve ever heard.
“Here is what’s keeping you from doing those tasks at night so you have your mornings free for me,” God pointed out. And he was right. Oh, sure, He’d want me googling a trendy-yet-functional Bible cover, wouldn’t He? Yes, but not if it prevented me from getting my chores done so that they wouldn’t distract me in the morning from time with Him. God would want me to reply to an email from a Christian friend, wouldn’t he? Oh, of course! But not if my twenty-minute email stole my devotion time later that night.
How much nicer does a meal taste when it’s homemade and has taken all day to simmer in the crockpot or bake in the oven? And how much nicer is our communion with the Lord when we make time for Him rather than fitting it in on a checklist?
I believe we have the time in our lives to replace a Microwave, five-minute-Jesus with the deeper satisfaction of time truly spent with our Lord. Perhaps we don’t see it at first, but God knows.
Ask him to show you where in your life you could do things differently to find more time with him. You’ll be surprised at His answer.