Written by: Judy E. Denby
Itís only the middle of August, but already I can easily state that this has been a summer like no other. 1999 will be remembered as one of the busiest years in my life, although also one of the most joyful. I married my husband, then tried to
adjust to the newlywed life while we maintained residences and jobs in two different states (he in Kansas, I in Maine). Before any of that was settled, his mother became ill and we were off to Florida to help her. We returned three weeks later, after a frustrating trip, still waiting for God to point us in some direction, and lead us to one household in one state. I went back to work for two weeks, and then we went to Douglas Camp in Massachusetts for about four days (all my work schedule would allow) of Christian fellowship and study of evangelism (including 1 baptism). (Let me pause here long enough to say that every day
was enriching to my Christian life, and although Iíve never been a camp person (I donít do well with insects, and life without my microwave seems like a real hardship), I highly recommend it to anyone simply because it is a chance to pull away from the rest of the world for a while, and to draw closer to God.)
Once camp ended, I went back to work for three twelve hour shifts, and then we flew to Missouri, where I had a job interview. Forty two hours later, we flew back to Maine and I went back to work. Now I have a visit with my parents and a family celebration the weekend of August 14th, while I wait to hear about the job. If it comes through, it means packing up and moving to Missouri only one year after I moved to Maine from the Midwest. (I still have not unpacked all those boxes!) Sometimes Iíd just like to collapse in bed, pull up the covers, and hide for a week or two - but I know I donít have time.
My point here is not to invoke your pity or to complain, because God has been very good to me. There comes a time, however, when I realize that I am so busy that the really important things get pushed aside, while I (superwoman, AKA super nurse, super wife, super friend, super daughter-in-law, etc.) try to accomplish all the tasks that I set before myself. I had visions of the perfect married life for us. Peter and I talked about the idea that we would continue to go on ďdatesĒ once a week, to keep our romance strong. We said we would make time daily to pray and meditate on Godís Word together. (These things happened infrequently due to schedules, time and/or money). Even my personal relationship with God has sometimes taken second place to my job, my service to others (helping Peterís mom, being Douglas Camp Nurse, etc.), and my various commitments. Itís not that I donít try to make time for the important things - I just know that Iím not putting the effort and time into making first my relationship with God and then my relationship with my husband all that they should be. No wonder Iím feeling tired and stressed.
Probably no one has gone through exactly what I have, but we all still have our stresses, cares and commitments. I know that I am not alone for I go into Christian bookstores and see books and devotionals that tell us how we can experience a meaningful relationship with God in anywhere from thirty seconds to fifteen minutes a day. Iím not saying these are sinful, and I confess that there have been days when I felt fortunate to have a whole fifteen minutes alone with God. I truly believe, though, that God deserves more, and if my relationship with Him is to grow, I need to devote more time to Him, making Him # 1.
Itís hard to change habits and I worry that something isnít going to get done (Iím a bit of a perfectionist) or maybe Iíll let someone downÖ I have to believe, however, that if I let Him, God will take care of it all while Iím working on making Him top priority. Even Jesus had to take time away from the crowds and disciples to spend time with His Father, so Iím following the best example. And when life gets crazy, Iíll be better prepared to state, like Horatio G. Spafford:
When peace like a river attendeth my way,
When sorrows like sea billows roll,
What ever befall, God has taught me to say,
It iswell, It is well with my soul.