Each of us live busy and cluttered lives. We invest in gadgets for greater efficiency, only to realize that the convenience that comes with them often become a distraction when we fail to set boundaries (P.S: I have nothing against owning such gadgets, and I do own some of them).
In the midst of it all, we try to balance the demands of a hurried and over-committed life, against the need to pause and reflect. When the latter is neglected, the stress of a cluttered life takes its toll. The end result is we leave no room for God to speak into our lives.
In the Gospels, Jesus got up very early in the morning to go to a solitary place to spend time with His heavenly Father (Mark 1:35), even amid His very busy ministry of healing and teaching. We read too, of the psalmist’s remedy when faced with pressure and stress: seeking rest in God (e.g. Psalm 46:10).
We need to cultivate the spiritual discipline of making time for God as we enter into a new year in 2013. Doing this helps us slow down intentionally, order our priorities and re-calibrate our inner compass by aligning our hearts to His.
Making time for God allows Him to speak into our lives – regarding our fears, insecurities, anxieties, our guilt, our joys, successes, aspirations, hopes, disappointments, pain, failures, relationships, fantasies, etc. It is through taking the time to spend sacred moments with Him that we hear our heavenly Father speak lovingly and relevantly into our lives, often in ways that could even surprise us.
Making time for God requires intentionality and discipline. Pencil your appointment with God in your calendar, set aside a regular extended time with Him each week or month. Find creative blocks of time, like those in-between waiting times (e.g. when you’re waiting to pick up your kids for classes) for some, or jogging/walking in the park for others. Making time for God helps us pray over and to reflect on issues. Find a nice café to ‘hang out with God’ during lunch, alone.
Personally, I often find that I have a greater need to spend time with God during particularly busy periods. I have a favourite McDonald’s outlet that I visit for such times with the Lord. I usually walk away spiritually refreshed by these sessions and renewed in my perspectives on facing future challenges.
Life in Singapore will only get busier. Commitments and work pile up sooner than we know it, and we will need more of His power in our lives to juggle all our responsibilities. We can certainly ‘de-clutter’ our lives by re-evaluating our present commitments and life stage, taking on only what is necessary and appropriate.
Let us be deliberate in making time for God as we manage our crowded, busy lives so that He has the room to work and to speak to us.
My prayer in 2013 is for all of us to spend priority time with God, and not give to Him time and space that are left-overs from our routine. Wishing you a blessed 2013.
Lam Kok Hiang