How Hard We Try

I've been reminded this week of how hard we try to please others, outdo others, and impress others. I've both seen and participated in a frenzy of activity intended to accomplish one or more of the above.
Of course, the only important thing is pleasing God. That means spending quality time with Him daily, and giving Him the "first-fruits" of our time, talents, and possessions. It seems that Christmas is especially a time when we fall prey to the temptation to get involved in the flurry of the season and ignore the Reason for the season. We try to cram so much into the time we have off work and out of school that it is very easy to push Christ aside. We get out of our routine, and even our personal time with God is often forgotten or pushed into some niche at the end of a hectic day. Quite often, it is our loved ones that contribute to our lack of continuity in our devotional life. They make plans without thought to your primary commitments. They, perhaps unwittingly, seem to be miffed if you are not willing to change your schedule to accommodate theirs. All of this has prompted me to think through how best to keep Christ first during the holidays. For what it's worth, here are a few of my thoughts.
  1. Leading into the holidays, think of a time that you CAN protect. That may mean getting up an hour earlier, or going to bed after everyone else has retired.
  2. A week or so before the holidays kick in, try out your new schedule so that you can tweak it if need be.
  3. Share with your family & loved ones your new schedule and request that they honor your time in their plans for the holidays.
  4. If your travel schedule precludes time for scripture reading, consider taping or downloading onto your I-pod some scripture passages that you can listen to as you drive. You might also include selections from some devotional books, tapes or CDs.
The bottom line is that we must try even harder to make time for God during the times when everyone else is trying their hardest to impress or outdo, or out give other people.

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