Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Ditching Devotions

Vacations can be a blessing and a curse for me. I love the opportunity to get away, spend time with my family, and break out from the day to day routine. Yet, therein lies the curse. Part of my routine involves a quiet time of prayer and reading God’s word, and when I’m on vacation that time is “hit and miss” (and frankly more miss than hit). So, I tragically ditch my devotions on vacation.

That happened just recently on a short get away to my in-laws property. We enjoyed some family time and I got in a little ice fishing as well (and actually caught some). Unfortunately, I didn’t have my quiet time those two mornings. Now I could give excuses like, “The cabin was too crowded,” or “I didn’t want to be antisocial,” etc. But the fact is that I could have had my quiet time if I chose to. But I didn’t.

So what’s the big deal, right? I missed a couple of days. God still loves me; I’m still His child. Why worry about it? Well, when we got in the van to leave Tuesday morning, the driveway was so icy that the van couldn’t get up the hill. I needed to get back home for an appointment at 2 p.m. and I was worried I would miss it. So, in my mild mannered way (those of you who know me realize I’m being sarcastic), I lost my cool. I was angry and yelling at the stupid driveway for being so steep. Then, as my tire was smoking and spinning in futility, I shouted at my wife, “I don’t care if you smell rubber, let the tire blow.” Ah, Christian maturity at it’s finest!

We did eventually get out after about an hour of work. I apologized to my family for losing my temper and started reflecting on my outburst. My wife started reading her Bible and I connected my unbecoming outburst with my lack of quiet time that morning.

Even if we only miss a day, we have set ourselves up as a target for temptation. Why? Because we have not focused on Christ for that day. We have not allowed Him to fill us for the day and guide our steps, so we allow other things to grab our attention. It’s like grocery shopping on an empty stomach. Rather than staying focused on the items you need, you pick up all these extra items because they look good and you’re hungry.

Without a daily quiet time focusing us on the LORD and his agenda, we began to focus on our plans. That’s why I lost it that morning. Things were not going how I thought they should go. Had I been focused on Christ, I would have trusted in His plans even if they didn’t match with mine at the time.

As it turned out, we still made it back in time for my appointment, but when I got to my office I discovered that I had misread my calendar and the appointment was actually the following week. Who says God doesn’t have a sense of Humor?

Moral of this story: Don’t ditch your devotions (and double-check your appointment calendar).

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