Monday, February 22, 2010

Some thoughts on my heart

I said something to one of my college students yesterday that has actually seemed to be more for me than it was for her. We were sort of updating the other people in our group as to where we felt we were in our relationship with God lately - how we were doing, where we were growing, where we know we need to grow, stuff like that. The inevitable thing that comes up almost every time I'm in a discussion like that is something about time management - not having enough time in the day to do all I need to do (or want to do) and still dig deeper into my relationship with God. But what I told the student wasn't anything brand new - it was just a simple fact: Every person actually has just as much time in their day as everyone else. What I meant to get across is that while we sometimes marvel at those much wiser than we are or more mature in their faith, we should not believe that they have some advantage of having "more time" than we do; they are most likely disciplined in their management of time and more willing to sacrifice some things than we are.

But here's the deal with all of that: I'm the same as my college student. I read stuff from saints of old or I know another Christian who is wiser than I am, and I tend to assume that it's just a matter of time before I get there. However, if I'm not making decisions in my day today that will help me draw closer to the Lord, why would I assume I'll be any closer in a few years? Why would I assume I'll just naturally be ready for that trial or hardship? When it comes down to it, I know that there is quite a bit in my life that holds me back from drawing closer to the Lord more regularly.

One of those things is my "addiction" (not literally... but sort of) to all things ESPN. I listen to ESPN in my car, I watch Sportscenter and many other shows on ESPN, and I check several times a day. I don't do this because I need to know who won the basketball games, or what some columnist thinks Lebron James will do after his contract expires this year... I do it because it's a habit (or addiction perhaps?). So I decided to give up all things ESPN for Lent - the period of time in the traditional church year between Ash Wednesday (last Wednesday) and Easter Sunday. And you know what? It hasn't been that difficult to give it up so far. Sure I'm still watching some of the Olympics and keep up a little bit so far on some other sites, but it's far less frequent - and I'm intentionally not turning the dial to ESPN or the channel to their stations.

Here's what I'm finding out: ESPN isn't the sole issue. Giving up one thing in order to spend more time with the Lord in the morning is good; but the issue is that my heart is inclined to just find something else to be distracted with! Other websites become more interesting, emails beckon me to be checked, and so on. I need the Holy Spirit to do a work in my heart so profound that I don't just stop one habit, but I prefer Jesus over all other things - communing with Him, loving Him, praising Him, bringing my concerns and requests to Him, and so on. This is what my heart needs and this is what I'm seeking from the Lord.

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