>> Saturday, January 30, 2016
The following blog was written by my daughter, Lorri.
We live in an indulgent, fast food nation, in which everything must be delivered fast, and everything must be easy. We hate waiting in line. We hate sitting at red lights. We hate waiting our turn. We hate it when the person at the checkout in front of us wants a price check or doesn’t know how to use the debit card machine. We hate it when there is not an immediate response to our questions. We hate it when we have to wait for the cable guy, the plumber, the electrician, the deliveryman, or the mailman. We live in an egocentric, self-centered nation where our convenience must be a priority.
The same seems to be true for modern-day Bible studies and devotionals. People want quick and easy, with little effort required. We can check “devotional time” off of our list, and feel really good about ourselves as Christians. After all, we gave God twenty minutes of our day. What more does He want?
Early in December, mom and I purchased a study book titled, The 40 Day Soul Fast: Your Journey to Authentic Living. It is now January, and we have barely moved past the first lesson. This study asks us to dig deep within ourselves, bringing self-awareness to an entirely new level. We would rather spend weeks contemplating the deep, soul-searching questions in the first lesson, than mark “Day One” off our lists and go to the next lesson without being honest with God and ourselves about the truths He is revealing.
I believe THIS is what He wants. He wants us to participate in soul-searching, interpersonal thought that makes us think about where we’ve been, and how we will move forward. He wants us to be uncomfortable. He wants us to question our motives. He wants us to be aware of things we do every day that keep us from truly seeking His will in our lives. He wants us to not only TALK about change, but to actually do it.
Many popular devotionals barely scratch the surface of true communion with God. We carry around little books full of anecdotes and short stories, but we don’t dig deeply within ourselves, asking God to reveal our weaknesses, our vulnerabilities, our hidden desires, our indulgences, our addictions, and our motives. In many ways, people don’t want to think about those things, because living in denial is easier. Change can be complicated, and we don’t like complicated.
Since starting the Soul Fast study, I have come to understand that a daily devotional isn’t a twenty-minute activity each day. I used to feel so good about myself when I checked “devotional time” off my list, but God isn’t about checklists. Checklists are easy. Checklists are uncomplicated. Checklists make us feel good about ourselves because we are so efficient.
Do you want “Time with God” to be an activity on a list next to grocery shopping and laundry?
"I’m absorbed in pondering your wise counsel." Psalm 119:23 (MSG)