I’m posting something God has probably been trying to teach me for years, but it is only now that I am really ready to understand and rest in it.
I want to work for God. I want to make a difference in my world. I have spent most of my adult life trying to figure out how I can achieve this. As a family we have looked at lots of mission calls, and lots of ‘mission’ jobs here at home. I read about people helping orphans or doing relief work and I want to be part of it.
For all these years it has never worked out. I am ok with that and assume God has something else we are supposed to do, but I am always looking, always wanting the ‘change’ to ‘true’ service for God. I completely understand that my family and my kids are my ministry, but there is so much pain and hurt in the world I want to try and help. The problem with always looking for ‘the call’ is that I am living in the future. I am focused on what I could do, or what I might be called to do, and everything I am doing now has just been a time filler till something else.
What I have discovered is that this is dangerous for both my sanity and simplicity, as well as my position and relationship with God.
A quote I read years ago in Experiencing God: Knowing and Doing the Will of God (revised and expanded) said (something close to):
“A common saying in our culture is ‘Don’t just stand there, do something’. God however calls us to ‘Don’t just do something, stand there and focus on Me.’”
We try so hard to work for God that we don’t have a chance to know God. And, if we don’t know Him, how can we really know what He wants us to do?
We learn about God, and we grow to want to serve Him, but all to often, we jump from one to the other without getting to know Him in the middle. Once we fill our life with lots of ‘good-God-work’ we don’t have the time to ‘Be still, and know that I am God’ Ps 46:10
So What Does It All Mean?
Our society has us living in the future… when I get past this busy time at work…. after the kids get potty trained…. after I get at least one good night sleep…. when I am finally out of debt…., and I was taking the same problem to my spiritual life.
We have to live in the present. Live in the present with our kids, our finances, our life, and our God. It is a simple law of biology and physics, there is only mental energy and time for the present.
God wants my worship and service today, maybe just this hour or this minute. It isn’t that we shouldn’t wish to make a difference for Him, it is that we need to focus on what He wants us to do now.
I found this poem yesterday from SAINT AUGUSTINE’S PRAYER BOOK: A BOOK OF DEVOTION FOR MEMBERS OF THE EPISCOPAL CHURCH:
Just For Today
Lord, for tomorrow and its needs, I do not pray;
Keep me, my God, from stain and sin,
Just for today.
Let me both diligently work and duly pray.
Let me be kind in word and deed,
Just for today.
Let me be slow to do my will, prompt to obey;
Help me sacrifice myself,
Just for today
And if today my tide of life should ebb away;
Give me thy Sacraments divine,
Sweet Lord, today.
So for tomorrow and its need I do not pray,
But keep me, guide me, love me, Lord,
Just for today.
Today is all I need to worry about. With Gods strength and guidance I can do, and be, what He wants me to be ‘just for today.’
Guest blogger Lorilee Lippincott, pictured above, lives in Nebraska. She says: “I live with an amazingly patient husband and two kids… who are trying to teach me patience. I have been trying to live intentionally and really look at why I do what I do for a few years. It has brought me to desiring practical religion, home school my kids, and most recently, sell most of our stuff (this was a family thing, I didn’t do it behind anyone’s back) and move into a small apartment. My husband and I run 3 businesses: construction, property management, and photography. He does the works and I try and keep up with scheduling and book work at home while schooling the kids. We love traveling, camping, hiking, and hanging out with friends.” To visit her blog, click here.