Timing Out

Timing Out

Timing Out

I’ve taken the day off tomorrow and will be timing out to spend some alone time with God for the next few days.

I both look forward and dread personal retreats because:

  1. There’s always that fear that God won’t show up in a way that I can truly hear from Him
  2. The ever-present question of what do I do without the usual buzz of entertainment that keeps my mind occupied most times
  3. The spectre of my thoughts being enveloped by all my doubts & struggles especially when I have all that time on my hands

And so I leave today. I’ll be switching off my phone as soon as I hit my retreat spot.

Vaya con dios amigos.

Quiet Mornings

Quiet Contemplation

Quiet Contemplation

I’m thankful for the mornings I have with God. It makes a huge difference to start the day off that way and I am constantly reminded that God’s more interested in me than what I do.

At times it does seem counter-productive to start the day off this way but wouldn’t it be arrogant to think that we can take on all that life throws at us without Him? I recognise the bankruptcy of myself without God and that we are precious only because God has given each of us intrinsic value & purpose; after all He was the one who made us. Here’s what David wrote in a Psalm about God’s careful eye as He made each one of us.

For You created my inmost being; You knit me together in my mother’s womb.

I praise You because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; Your works are wonderful, I know that full well.

My frame was not hidden from You when I was made in the secret place. When I was woven together in the depths of the earth,

Your eyes saw my unformed body. All the days ordained for me were written in Your book before one of them came to be.

Psalms 139:13-16

Here’s why my mornings with God are so precious:

  • I am comforted in my struggles by His Presence.
  • I get guidance from His Word.
  • I can pour out all that’s in my heart to Him (the challenges in my life, my frustrations, my hopes, my dreams & more)
  • I have opportunity to pray for those that I care for.
  • I learn daily how to hear from Him through words & songs that He places in my heart as I quiet down (I’m still learning how to do this; am not very good at it yet tho’)

Why don’t you take a minute today to quiet down before God? Or better yet build the discipline of spending time with Him daily. It really does make a difference.

Sit Down Timeout Think Through Time

As Jesus and his disciples were on their way, he came to a village where a woman named Martha opened her home to him. She had a sister called Mary, who sat at the Lord’s feet listening to what he said. But Martha was distracted by all the preparations that had to be made. She came to him and asked, “Lord, don’t you care that my sister has left me to do the work by myself? Tell her to help me!”

“Martha, Martha,” the Lord answered, “you are worried and upset about many things, but only one thing is needed. Mary has chosen what is better, and it will not be taken away from her.”

It’s hard to sit down and it’s even harder to time out to reflect on life. Like Martha I think all of us get caught up not just in the busyness of life but life just happens. It does.

And when life happens we come face to face with decisions that we must make and as much as I’d love things to be in black & white, life is more shades of gray then it is white. My colleague Pat wrote that she saw life as colourful and as much as I agree with her that it is when it comes to decisions in life things can be quite gray. It’s harder to make decisions once you realise that people matter and balancing it with what you wanna see happen is a delicate thing. I don’t claim to be a saint but I know I try my best and even in having the best of intentions things can still mess up. After all the road to hell is paved with good intentions is it not? I’m digressing.. let’s get back to the topic at hand shall we?

Busy cooks need to time out. That means you!

Busy cooks need to time out. That means you!

I’ve written about this many, many times but I can’t begin to describe the sanity & peace I find in the quietness of the mornings just reading the Bible and talking to God in my head & heart. When I’m spending time with Him my thoughts settle and whatever struggles I have seem much lighter in the Presence of the One who loves me very much. I know God does not spare me trouble and He definitely does not spare me the privilege of making decisions but it’s scary how many times I have blundered. I pull through only by grace at times, sometimes it’s by my own ingenuity but I am finding that my human wisdom gets me into more trouble rather that it does good. Argh!

It’s important to reflect on life, really important. A word of warning though, there is a difference between reflection and self-bashing though. Too much inwardness causes us to just feel like crap but I believe that true reflection gives insight; which when put into practice can lead to really good things. Reflection alone doesn’t help though cos’ there’s another ingredient that’s needed in the mix. What is it you ask? Well, reflection when coupled with patient waiting makes a world of difference in life. I find my impatience to be horrible and God has had to teach me many times that prayer is all about God working in His timing rather than mine and that while things don’t seem to be moving they actually are. In my impatience I have blundered a lot. The good news is that hard knocks have taught me more than my successes which is ironic.

What is the point of this post? Well, I think I just wanna share to everyone that it pays to spend time in reflection. Going go go go all the time isn’t healthy. In fact by being on the go all the time we may end up in places we don’t really want to be. All because we didn’t stop to take stock and to think or to seek for divine guidance. I don’t claim to have learned this lesson fully cos’ I’ve just made a recent blunder in acting too soon in something but I know that I’m learning it bit by bit. Patience isn’t natural to us humans, in fact it’s quite an unnatural thing for us to not act when it comes to wanting results.

In closing I’d like to round up today’s post with 3 simple words.

Stop. Pause. Reflect.

Think about it.

Mornings

Breakfast for your soul.

Breakfast for your soul.

What’s the first thing on your mind when you get up in the morning?

I get up each morning usually with the things that are on my heart. The things that matter. Whether it’s work or that special someone. Stuff like that … and I think I’ve learnt by God’s grace to always run to Him the moment I open my eyes when I wake up.

My mornings are special and my day is never complete unless I spend a good half-an-hour or so quietening down and just basking in the Presence of the Father. My day goes off tangent usually if I don’t have that sliver of precious time to talk to Him about the stuff that I’m struggling with and now more than ever I’m learning how to listen rather than to just blab my mouth off.

I guess the point I’m trying to make this morning is for you (the reader) to take a moment and to spend a bit of time with God today! I know not everyone who reads my posts are Christian but that doesn’t mean you can’t talk to God right because you can!

Anyways, I’d love to hear about how some of you spend your mornings or how you start the day off. So drop me a line right here on Multiply or drop me a comment on my oft unmaintained blog at http://surfgod.blogspot.com (I know, I know … Multiply requires you to sign-up to comment and stuff which is a bummer).

Here’s a short verse that I wrote this morning that sorta summarises my mornings.

Mornings
My mornings are times spent with Him
My mornings give me the strength to run life’s race each day
My mornings remind me to walk the narrow way
My mornings keep me centred on Yahweh Elohim