Lately I’ve had a hard time stopping and spending time with the Lord. I once heard someone say: “Life doesn’t get easier, it gets busier” and that has really been echoing in my head these last few days. It’s funny how you can hear something and think you understand it, but then that understanding is taken to whole new level once you actually experience it yourself.
I feel my life has gone through gradual changes since graduating college in May. When I first moved, I found myself with a great deal of time on my hands and very few people to spend that time with, so my schedule was mostly: work, sit in traffic, workout and home. Now, that schedule is a little different. Slowly but surely, I’ve met more people, gotten more involved and I find myself being quite busy with work, church, friends, entertainment and the many things that come with that.
To whom much is given, much is required (Luke 12:48).
When I wasn’t busy, it was so much easier to spend my days and nights in The Word and talking to God – I loved it! And there was a lot of growth and development during that time because I was so focused on myself and God. And I’m sad to say that some of that focus is gone today. There are so many other things in front of me now, that I find myself dividing my focus. So yes, I’m still spending time with God, and doing my devotions and spending time on me, but there’s been something missing these last few weeks. I seem to be having a tough time quieting my mind, however, I’ve continued to go through the motions thinking perhaps I’m just going through a lull.
However, this morning, something made sense to me…
“Taste and see that The Lord is good. Oh the joys of those who take refuge in Him.” (Psalms 34:8)
It’s one thing to just know God is good, and it’s another thing to experience it. Don’t get me wrong, knowing is important, we have to know that God is good all the time, but at the same time it’s another thing to absolutely experience that truth and rest in knowing that.
For instance, there can be food in front of us that looks good and smells good, but we don’t satisfy our hunger on sight and smell alone. We have to actually eat that meal in order to experience any type of satisfaction. In that same way, I feel that’s been my mindset in regards to the time I’ve spent with God – He’s that good thing I can “smell” and “see,” but until I strive to really experience/taste Him, I’ll remain unsatisfied.
I seem to have really forgotten that experience portion of a relationship with Him. I’ve been relying on just knowing and as usual, I know too darn much! I know what God has done in the past, what He promises to do in the future, what He’s doing presently, however I think I have a hard time understanding that the way for me to truly know that is by stopping to experience Him and allowing God to be God. And I’m learning that in all that I think I KNOW, that I actually don’t know anything until I put myself in a position to experience that truth.
When I wasn’t busy, I actually took the time to really be with Him. I was present and attentive and ready to soak up everything I possibly could in that relationship. Now that I feel I have a little something (a few friends and a better idea of my purpose), I’ve been way more concerned with throwing what I have at Him, instead of giving Him myself and my unadulterated attention.
That isn’t to downplay what I have (my friends and church and learning my purpose are AWESOME!), but it is important that I not substitute the relationship I have with others, for the actual relationship I have with God.
In order to give myself, I have to actually stop and rest and delight in God. Now that I’m a bit busier, I don’t actually take the time to stop anymore, because I have other demands and time constraints and I find it harder to quiet my mind and rid myself of distractions.
In Psalms 34 David emphasizes his experience when He really took the time to take refuge in The Lord. He knew there was something completely different in knowing and experiencing the goodness of the Lord. And this morning I had to take his advice and actually “taste and see” The Lord’s goodness. So yes, I had to get to work and I was hoping to be there at a certain time due to a project I’m trying to complete, but I had to force myself to really just STOP.
Stop trying to get ready, stop multitasking and stop my mind from thinking of all the things I have to complete today. Stop and really understand and enjoy what I’m reading and what The Lord is trying to tell me through it. While I prayed, I really stopped thinking about everything else and allowed a moment of silence to just sit still before Him.
One of my takeaways from this morning is remembering that QUALITY always trumps quantity. It’s great to have reminders throughout the day, and to check my apps that send me verses and scroll my timelines liking scripture posts, but if I’m not actually stopping to really reflect on what those reminders and verses mean, then it’s not a quality moment to allow growth, reflection and redirection in some cases.
There’s something so precious about just stopping to BE. And that is exactly what I’ve forgotten these last few weeks. Have you?