Our focus this week is on continually pursuing Christ.
“Lord, give me more of thy likeness; Enlarge my soul to contain fullness of holiness; Engage me to live more for thee… Blessed Lord, let me climb up near to thee, and love, and long, and plead, and wrestle with thee… Wrap my life in divine love, and keep me ever desiring thee.”
~ The Valley of Vision, “Longings After God” http://ow.ly/ATFOh
We once knew a pastor we’ll call Jim. And Jim told us he was struggling with laziness. But laziness seemed to be the last trait we would have used to describe him. Always working. Always busy in ministry. And when he wasn’t doing at church he was busy with his family and 100 projects. And yet, Jim assured us, he fought against the tendency to be lazy. Huh? That made no sense to us… is he just being falsely modest? Struggling with false guilt? But then he explained.
Laziness doesn’t equal not busy or not active. Lazy means neglecting an area or multiple areas of our life which are most important. Even the most busy of us fight against laziness.
One of my seminary professors also talked about this. He is this amazing man who has written multiple books and has taught for 40 years. He knows God’s Word so intimately and loves studying it. Nothing brings him greater delight. And, although I remember thinking his prayers were amazing, he stated once that the way he prayed was much less mature spiritually than the depth of the Bible and God he knew. In other words, he felt he had not developed the discipline and love of prayer to the same depth he read and studied the Word. He explained we will all have certain spiritual disciplines that come more naturally to us and ones we will have to make a firmer point to diligently pursue because they are harder for us.
And I see this in my life. In my own walk with God there are areas in which I take particularly great joy. There is nothing I would rather do than read my Bible. For my birthday an extended family member asked what I wanted for my birthday – I was told it had to be something fun – and then proceeded to buy me just what I wanted… 4 biblical commentaries. But, I have other areas in which I am lazy. Prayer is one. It is easier for me to study than pray. Perhaps, for you, it is just the opposite. We all have strengths and we all have lazies in the way we grow in Christ and reflect Him to others.
As school gets back in sawing and schedules become somewhat organized after summer vacations, this is a great time to really combat those lazies. We each know what our lazy area is. Perhaps lack of meditating on that which is upright. Neglect of the Word. Allowing ourselves the luxury of gossip instead of getting off the phone. Lack of being there for our husband when he comes home from work tired and needs a listening ear. Distraction with our phone when our children want to know more about Jesus and His world. Quickness to worry but slowness to pray.
This week may we commit to actively combating one of our lazys. Little by little that lazy can become a discipline of great sweetness in our walk with the Lord.