Thoughts from daily Bible reading for today – September 7, 2019
I do not want to see you now just in passing, for I hope to spend some time with you, if the Lord permits. 1 Corinthians 16:7
I have young children at home, children who at the end of a long workday are eager to engage me in conversation and play. On a good day, I meet them in this moment and enter into their world with love and intentionality. On a bad day, I carry the concerns of my day – a pastoral meeting, unread emails, heavy traffic – into my time with my family and therefore am physically present, yet emotionally miles and miles away.
St. Paul was incredibly busy caring for and establishing churches all over the ancient Mediterranean world. There was always more work to be done than time to do it, more funds needed, more laborers to join him in the harvest. And yet, he knew that real spiritual and relational transformation required the gift of time. His priority was not efficiency or productivity but relational intimacy and pastoral affection for the people in his charge. In order to see the lasting change he longed for in Corinth, he knew he would need to stick around.
What relationships in your own life need you to stick around instead of just passing through? Yes, the gift of time is an obvious place to start. Yet as I mention above, it is entirely possible to be present and absent at the same time. Similarly, do you have clarity on how to best prioritize your commitments? So often we give our time and attention to the most urgent and pressing parts of our week. However, as the saying goes, there is a real “tyranny of the urgent,” stealing us away from the foundational and essential commitments that are more easily dismissed and ignored.
We are an incredibly pain-averse society. If it’s hard and difficult in any way, surely it’s a sign that we should stop! And while our affection for comfort is certainly understandable, we should resist its unqualified embrace. So often in life, the hardest things you do are at the same time the most satisfying. We have future financial goals but resist the discipline required to save for months, even years. We long for relational depth and intimacy yet cut the process short and move along at the first sign of conflict. We dream of a promotion or greater influence at work, yet fail to do the hard and slow work of interior renovation that ensures we have the depth of character needed to support such a role.
Simply put, if we want to reap the fruits of patient, faithful living, we must first be willing to enter into the long, slow process of faithful planting and tending to the soil of our lives.
Father, give us the courage to press into our relationships and communities, resisting the urge to look for a quick fix or instant solution, through Christ our Lord. Amen.
Are there areas of your life currently that need your intentional investment of time and presence, instead of simply passing through?
The gift of time helps relationships grow over time. #WisdomHunters #time #Jesus
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