Have you ever had a day, or even a week, that you spent completely in catch-up mode?
That has been this week for me.
Last week I was in Alabama attending a conference along with several other members of our team. It was a great week. It was refreshing, inspiring, and, most importantly, we learned some valuable information.
I love weeks like last week, and I hope to share some of what we learned here one of these days, but not today.
No, today I want to talk about this week.
I hate playing catch up, I hate it more when the reason I have to play catch up is because someone else didn’t do what they were supposed to do.
See, in addition to being a youth pastor, I am also the CPO (certified pool operator) […Ben, just tell them you’re a glorified pool boy]. Okay, I’m the pool boy, at the apartment complex my wife and I live at (she is the manager of the complex).
So last week we hired another CPO to maintain the pool for us while we were out of town. We, of course, assumed that because this person had his certification that everything would be fine.
It was not.
We were gone a total of four days. In that time our pool went from (almost) perfectly clear, to a shade of green that reminded me of a swamp in a bad 80’s horror movie.
It was disgusting.
Turns out, that is what algae growth does to pool water. [Now I know you don’t really care but…] Algae growth usually means that the pool water isn’t circulating correctly, which means the filters are probably blocked, which probably means the skimmer baskets are full, which, of course, means that the pool was probably not cleaned.
Whew. [Now that you’re an expert on algae…]
This is obviously not what we had in mind when we hired a CPO at…wait for it…
Back to the matter at hand, though.
So, for the past week, I have been trying to return my pool water to normal (which isn’t as easy as my book made it seem, by the way). All the while, I have been thinking how could this water go from clean and clear [and under control… sorry, had to], to, let’s just say if your kid drank it you would seriously be concerned for their safety.
As I was contemplating this question today I realized that this isn’t that different from our lives.
Really, our lives require a lot of maintenance, up keep, if you will. If we neglect that, sometimes even for a day, or two, things can get pretty murky, pretty quick.
Think about it. If we were to completely ignore our spouse for a day, how would that turn out?
Now I don’t have kids but I can safely assume that neglecting your children, even if only for a day, is not at the top of the list on how to be a good parent.
Of course, these are, somewhat, extreme examples, and most of us don’t have any trouble with either of these.
However, what about our relationship with God?
I know that I’m guilty of ignoring God, even if not on purpose. Other things come up, work needs to get done, I don’t have time (check that, I don’t make time).
So why is it that we think that our relationship with Him isn’t affected the same way our relationship with other people might be?
Or, why do we wonder why our relationship with Him isn’t better, when we continually neglect Him?
Please believe me that, even as I type this, this is a hard question for me to ask. If I’m a pastor and I struggle with this, how hard must it be for people that aren’t in ministry, that have normal jobs, that have completely different stresses that I do?
That being said, it is a question that needs to be asked. It needs to be asked because if we are serious about having a relationship with God, shouldn’t we make it a priority?
I think one of the biggest struggles I have, is that I expect every encounter with God to be awe-inspiring. I expect to receive some divine revelation, or some grand vision about my life, or my ministry. I, at least, expect to feel His presence.
The truth, though, is, that is not always going to be the case. Every time we meet with God isn’t going to be like our wedding night, or the day our kids are born, or even just Christmas morning.
There will be times like that; but there will also be times where it is just maintenance. There will be times when it is just, “Hi, how’s your day?”
And you know what, that’s okay. We need to learn that God just wants us to give Him the time that He deserves. Just like any other person that is important to us, we should make it a priority to give Him that time.
We will do it for our spouse. We will do it for our kids. So why not do it for our God?
Hopefully that all makes sense (I don’t really proof read) [Ben, shut up, why are you telling them].
I hope that this encourages you to make time for God daily, even if it is just a “how’s it going?”