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Wednesday, December 26, 2007

How do you not forget? - Part 4

This is the last part in my series of posts stemming from an email from a friend asking me, "How do you keep talking to God throughout the day? I mean, how do you not forget?" My first two principles had to do with how I approach my life. It is key to realize that my life is hidden with God in Christ and that in him I live and move and have my being. These form a foundation so that I can build the spiritual practices I enumerated in parts 2 & 3. But now the principle I want to briefly talk about here in part 4 deals with time.

One of the distinctives of our modern existence is that we no longer have "any time" for truly important things. Our lives are busy. Quite frankly, we are to busy caught up in so many things. My life is full. I commute 2 hours a day. I am at work 9 hours. I personally answer all calls to Common Heart and respond to emails. Most Saturday mornings I help out at the cupboard, deliver groceries, or lead outreaches. I have friends I visit, write, call, try to stay in contact with. I have two active boys that I endeavor to love, spend time with and bring up in the Lord. I love my wife and spend time with her talking about the day, our plans, our life together, I volunteer at church. Yet, I still daily and regularly spend time with Jesus. One key is my daily rhythm I shared in part 2, but the main thing I do is I endeavor to "redeem my time".

See then that you walk circumspectly, not as fools but as wise, redeeming the time, because the days are evil. Therefore do not be unwise, but understand what the will of the Lord is.
Ephesians 5:15-17
Time belongs to God. He is the Lord of time, the Lord of my time. This includes time I spend waiting on line. The time I spend walking back to the shop to check on a project at work are included as well. It includes each moment I use up muttering impatiently as I wait at a stop light. It includes time spent on cleaning, grooming, and necessities. I have found that I can redeem those mundane moments by, as the NIV translates Eph 5:16 ,"making the most of every opportunity".

For instance, I have been known to read my Bible while I wait on hold on making a phone call to a prospective customer. I actually once meditated on Psalm 23 while having a cavity filled. It sheds new light on "though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death" as the dentist drills out a cavity.

These verses are about much more than just redeeming moments to pray or meditate on scripture. It is about living our lives fully for the Lord. Allowing his purposes to fill all that we do, causing all our moments to bring glory to God. There is an old hymn I love by Frances R. Ha­ver­gal that expresses this fuller thought.

Take my life, and let it be consecrated, Lord, to Thee.
Take my moments and my days; let them flow in ceaseless praise.
Take my hands, and let them move at the impulse of Thy love.
Take my feet, and let them be swift and beautiful for Thee.
(Read the lyrics and hear the original melody at
Now I hope you have not gotten the idea that I am perfect at any of this. I am truly no expert in the answer to the original question my friend asks, "How do you keep talking to God throughout the day? I mean, how do you not forget?" These are just a few things I do. How do you keep talking to God through out the day? How do you motivate your thoughts heavenward?

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