Friday, February 27, 2009

Making Time

One phrase I hear often when I ask people how they are is, ‘I am busy’ or ‘I am very busy’. I remember when I worked for a company I would often be working 70 hours a week. Sometimes I would be there all night if a server went down. I enjoyed working but then I began to realise my family was suffering. We hardly saw each other, little communication. Holidays were precious but even then it would take most of a week to wind down before we could enjoy anything.

When I began to realise my busyness was to the detriment of family life my wife and I decided we needed to make time for family. Our first step was eating meals together as often as we could. This meant 7 o’clock breakfast and a regulated evening meal. It is a discipline we still try and keep to. Guess what, communication flowed and many useful conversations have occurred around the dining table. We also learned to bring God to the dining table. Prayer, prophecy and encouragement has been part of that. This also extends to guests who come to stay. Much ministry has been done after a meal. It becomes a natural thing to do.

As a prophet I often find people saying, ‘I don’t hear from God’. As I push further it is often the case that they don’t make time to hear from Him. Even where they have a ‘quiet time’ it consists of one way requests. I advice them to buy a notebook and pen as a step of faith and the next time they pray ask God to speak. Using this method with the Word as a source has filled many notebooks for me. God is so keen to speak to us.

I received a gift from my friend André Pelser, a copy of his Blues Album. One track that really blesses me is, ‘Draw Nigh To Me’. It speaks of God always being ready to spend time with us. One line I love is, ‘come sit by me and lay your head upon my breast’. It makes me realise how God longs for us to be with Him. The God of heaven has time for us. When I respond to that prompting I discover the love of God in a very real way.

We are made to feel in our society that time is our master, it governs. That is not true. We should manage our time not the other way around. Maybe we want to do too much. What are you doing that you shouldn’t be doing? Maybe turning the TV off and talking to your family or partner is what’s required.

The trap of busyness is always there. We need to guard ourselves from being too busy. Ask God to show you what you are doing that is stealing time for other things. Adjusting to not doing things is not easy. An accusing voice will tell you that you’re lazy, or this or that needs to be done. Jesus said, ‘Take my yoke on yoke is easy and my burden is light’. Hebrews 4 tells us there is a rest to enter into. I am learning to rest, enjoy family and I find God is able to do more when I do less.

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