Most mornings go about the same: I wake up before my alarm (a sure sign to me that “old age” has already hit me!"), roll over and look at the clock, and let out a deep sigh. I walk every morning—Monday through Friday—and that walk usually gets going around 6am. BUT! I often don’t want to get out of bed. I think, “Oh, just 10 more minutes….” or “I just want to lie here a while longer….” However, I get up…get into my shorts and sweat-shirt…don my New Balance tennies…and head out the door.
It’s slow at first, but then, as I swing my arms, as my feet climb the hills, as I take note of the birds and their singing, things begin to change. As I greet the others I encounter each morning—some walkers, some runners, some simply owners of dogs who have get out—as I see them and we greet each other, my mind shifts. By the time I’m coming down from the top of the hill, as sweat is pouring off of me (more for the humidity than for the difficulty of my walk, mind you!), I have a completely different attitude. As I round the last corner and approach the outer gate of our apartment, I am glad I pulled myself out of that comfy bed, glad I left in the dark of the morning to walk. In fact, I can’t think of a single day that I’ve come home from my walk thinking, “Man, it really wasn’t worth it—I should have stayed in bed.”
Unfortunately (and very honestly), my time with God often goes the same way. Oh, it’s not that I’m in bed all comfy and want to avoid time with the Lord. No, it’s that there are a million things to do—write an article for the preaching blog for my students at the seminary, grade papers for those at the teachers’ college, run Megan or Andrew here or there. But, in the end, as with the walking—thank goodness—the better part of reason comes through.
I go off to that quiet spot...on the porch by the bougainvillea or in the corner by the window looking out on the Sierra Madre mountains. I pick up that Book, and just the feel of those pages begins to calm my soul. As my eyes fall on those words—words heard and read a hundred, a thousand times—my hurry and rush and false sense of self-importance begins to fall away. Somehow, as I read, as I meditate, and allow the Scriptures and God’s Spirit to guide my mind and thoughts, I am somehow changed and my attitude altered. I pull myself up short…unaware that so much time has passed. I was going to give myself (or the Lord) five minutes—and already I’ve sat here with my Lord more than twenty!
As with my walk in the morning, my walk with the Lord never leaves me thinking, “Well, that was a waste of time.” Somehow, God always manages to speak to me…to encourage me, to teach me, to correct me, to bring something to my mind that needs my attention.
I guess we’re just a reluctant lot, we humans--we seems to shun and avoid the very things that bring us life and health and peace. However, it also seems that we do get there, even if not with the greatest frequency, and our lives are changed and bettered. Time to go now, and sit with my Lord….