It is early in the morning (3.20am) and my mind wanders. I tell my mind to stay focused on what I'm thinking but without warning it jumps into an entirely different part of my life, bringing to memory unrelated thoughts...
But there is indeed one thought that I must get out - before I forget, before it becomes hazy with the demands of the day. Here it is - Spending time with God is NOT a chore.
I don't know about you but I used to hate chores as a kid. I would have no problem cleaning out the entire house if my mom asked for a favor (because I loved her and I wanted her to be happy)... but I would stubbornly resent doing anything that I had to do simply because I had to do it.
Is this familiar at all?
I have realized today that I carry this mentality into my Christian life. As I grew in my relationship with God (because I love Him), I was reminded by all the things that I had to do as a "good Christian" (whatever that term is even supposed to mean). I learned that a "good Christian" is supposed to read their Bible daily, pray every day, go to church every Sunday, tithe, preferably be involved serving in the church... oh yeah and always smile... am I forgetting something?
And herein the problem lies.
I have tried everything: devotional books, YouVersion (a great app by the way) reminders, not going on facebook or any other websites until I've had my time with God, fasting computer, fasting food, Bible reading plans, accountability groups, etc., etc. It has not worked. I kept failing and my spiritual life pattern often reminded an ECG (can anyone relate?).
And then one day I grew unsatisfied. Unsatisfied with how things were. Unsatisfied with my progress. Blaming my church no longer worked. Blaming my husband no longer worked. My soul was laid bare. I finally faced the ultimate catalyst for change - a realization that you have no one but yourself to blame.
And the realization came - all this time I viewed spending time with God as a chore... when it was never meant to be that. Not by Him at least. And that's when the change came.
When you open yourself up to the Lord - bare and vulnerable - when you show Him your raw places - healing will come. When you open yourself up to the love of God - the change will come.
I still hate chores.
I am in love with God.