Oh Lord, you call us to seek your face (Psalm 27:8).
You say that we will find you when we seek you with our whole heart (Jeremiah 29:13).
You tell us to seek you while you may be found (Isaiah 55:6).
And we know that we need you. Our hearts long for you. As the Psalmist says in Psalm 42:1-2, “As the deer pants for flowing streams, so pants my soul for you, O God. My soul thirsts for God, for the living God.”
And yet, how easily we neglect you.
The last few couple of days, recovering after the nastiness of allergies and such, I have slept as late as I possibly could before needing to leave for work. I have neglected my time with the Lord and instead have rushed out the door. Oh sure, I listened to some worship music on my commute. Even had a moment or two where I felt God’s presence with me as I sang along to worshipful lyrics.
But was I really seeking the living God?
I have to go to work, you see, because I am expected. I have people who depend on me. I also get paid by the hour, so in order to provide well for my family, I need to be in the office. I have things that must be done. And so reason within myself such thoughts, and I am sure that you do as well. We resolve to wake up earlier, despite how we feel. We will improve. We will get better.
And like a gracious Father, I am sure the Lord understands. He at least knows our thoughts. Like a good Father, who just wants to hear from his child, I’m sure the Lord just shrugs his shoulders, feigns a smile, and says I love you, son. We’ll talk later. Que “Cat’s in the Cradle” theme music here.
My question is this: Why, when it comes down to it, do we prioritize everyone and everything over the Lord? Okay, maybe not everything. But it seems like God keeps getting shorted. “He is kind and gracious,” we reason, “so he won’t be offended. But if I miss one more [fill in the blank], they will be upset.” And so we go to the meeting, the card game, the trip, the visit, the thing.
For years, I have known that one of the most hard hitting sermons I could preach would be on the issue of priorities. It’s also one that I would always get the most creative negative feedback on. We’re pretty good at coming up with excuses for why we spend our time the way we do, even when it’s found to be wanting. But here I am, a “professional Christian” realizing the same in my life. Even though 9 days out of 10 I spent a good amount of time in God’s word and in prayer, I STILL find myself excusing God when the schedule gets tight.
I’m short on solutions today, my friend. But this is something I think we need to wrestle with. I’m not telling you to skip work or shirk your responsibilities at home and everywhere else. What I am saying is this: Should not the God of the Universe, the Maker of all things, the One true Triune God, should He not be our greatest responsibility? Should He not be the one who never gets shorted by us? Is it too great a thing to place Him above all?
My heart still needs some shaping, some turning and crafting by the Master, friends. What about you?