God recently convicted me of something in my life that needed to be addressed. I had become so “busy” with ministry details that I found myself unwilling or unable to slow down to even talk with my neighbor, Bill. That might be okay if all Bill needed was to chew the fat (he and I are both Florida Gator fans), but he has a deeper need. He’s lost. And I know it.
Often, as he’d see me come out of my home to load up my stuff into my vehicle, he’d walk across our busy residential street with his little poodle in his arms, and he’d start talking. Next thing you know, I’d be edging back toward the house to go get the rest of my stuff, all the while pretending that I was interested in talking.
The truth is, if I didn’t head out soon, I’d be late for whatever I was going to, and that’s not good.
After one of these “conversations,” I started complaining to Earlene, my wife. Then God spoke to me. Not audibly, but it may just as well have been as loud as a thunder clap. I’d become too busy.
People matter more to God than my task list. Gaining an opportunity to share Christ with Bill is more important than just about everything else I’d rushed around trying to do. I had become unavailable to God.
I wonder if my sin is shared with anyone else in ministry? Do you ever feel unavailable to God because you’ve got too much on your plate? Let me recommend three things to you:
- Read the excellent book by Dr. Richard Swenson entitled: Margin: Restoring Emotional, Physical, Financial, and Time Reserves to Overloaded Lives.
- Plan a spiritual retreat to assess, with God’s help and through much prayer, what (if any) changes you need to make in your life. Unless you’re able to walk on water, my guess is you’ll need to make more than a few changes.
- Share your thoughts with your wife. Nobody knows you better than she does, and she has the platform to speak honestly with you. And, I’ll bet she will appreciate the fact that you want to be available to God. Chances are, those of us who have been unavailable to Him have also been minimally available to her!
Just so you know, I’m not there yet. I’m still working on my list of changes. But I can tell you one thing I’ve changed right away… Bill gets a lot more of my time when he and I talk, and I’m learning about him as I seek ways to turn the conversation to my Savior.
This is going to be a project, but it’s worth it to be available to Bill.
The way I look at it, when I’m available to Bill, I’ve made myself available to God.
Bottom line: What change do you need to make to be more available to God?