Guest blogger Sheila West will truly challenge all of us as leaders with this very insightful post. Read prayerfully!
"It was one of those days. We all have them. The demands of the day were greater than the time or energy that I possessed. As I backed out of the driveway I found myself crying out to the Father in utter desperation: “I really need your help! I can’t do everything I have to do all by myself.” Instantly, I was taken aback by the accuracy of my statement. I desperately needed the Father to hold my fragmented life together: relational demands, business challenges, and ministry opportunities. And yet a few minutes ago, I didn’t have the time to give Him my undivided attention.
The memory of the morning did an instant replay through my mind. It began with my daily “quiet time” that was anything but quiet. I had no more than sat down with a Bible, pen, and life journal in hand than I heard the buzzer on the washer calling me. I had been so efficient getting a load of clothes started before coming to my “Dwelling Place” (the place I stop the busyness of life to be with the Father – or so it should be). I started to get up and change the clothes when I had a check in my spirit. Racing through my mind were times I sensed the Father calling me to come to Him and yet I had ignored the “beep” because things had to be done. Rethinking priorities, I sat back down. Dropping to my knees, I asked my Heavenly Father to forgive me for saying how I longed to be with Him, only to be so easily drawn away from Him. What a sweet moment. And a moment was all that it was! The phone rang, the project screamed, the clock was ticking reminding me of how I was going to be late for a meeting. And now I found myself in the car in a passionate monologue with the Father, "But I tried. I did sit down with you truly longing to hear a Word, to give you my undivided attention. But I finally just had to get moving. The truth is, I always assume you will understand when I put you off.”
After a few short minutes, I thought about something I needed to do for a ministry project. Efficiently not wanting to forget, I jumped up and headed straight for the computer. Once again, I sensed a check in my spirit as if the Father were saying “Do I have to be a project to get such a sense of urgency out of you?”
Dropping to my knees, I asked my Heavenly Father to forgive me for saying how I longed to be with Him, only to be so easily drawn away from Him. What a sweet moment. And a moment was all that it was! The phone rang, the project screamed, the clock was ticking reminding me of how I was going to be late for a meeting. And now I found myself in the car in a passionate monologue with the Father, "But I tried. I did sit down with you truly longing to hear a Word, to give you my undivided attention. But I finally just had to get moving. The truth is, I always assume you will understand when I put you off.”
At that moment, the reality hit me between the eyes that I was taking multi-tasking to a new level. I was actually multi-tasking with God. My moments with the Master were no longer the quiet time of undivided devotion but crammed into the middle of other competing demands. While sitting with Him, I was jumping ahead to the day’s problems and my plans. In my attempts to get things done, I was trying to cram in my time between buzzers, meetings, or text messages. To cap it off, I was even multi-tasking my listening. I often flip-flopped from listening for a personal Word from the Lord to forming a teaching plan.
I began thinking how much I was missing out on by not spending time in wholehearted devotions with the Master. “Let me experience Your faithful love in the morning, for I trust in You. Reveal to me the way I should go because I long for You. Psalms 143:8 (HCSB) is the real desire of my heart. And I am sure many of you long for the same thing.
So, I’ve been thinking, “What radical life-changes could happen if…?” What if multi-tasking gurus became willing to resist the tendency to default to multi-tasking with God? If you are one, you know what I mean. It is powerful to pray and walk, to ride and sing praise songs, to listen to the Word in the car, to have ongoing conversations with God all day long. But there is more! I’m just saying, what if this year became filled with more of those sweet, sweet moments with just you and the Master, all alone in a quiet place? What if you linger there long enough for His thoughts on specific issues to become your thoughts? What if single-minded moments sent you away wrapped up in the reality of His faithful love? What if your time with Him gives you the faith to trust Him more and more for the events of the day? Would there be more peace in the midst of the busyness? More power for practically applying God’s Truths? More discernment for setting our agendas? More faith in the face of adversity?
All I’m saying is, “I’ve been thinking, what if…?”