As Jesus and his disciples were on their way, he came to a village where a woman named Martha opened her home to him. She had a sister called Mary, who sat at the Lord's feet listening to what he said. But Martha was distracted by all the preparations that had to be made. She came to him and asked, "Lord, don't you care that my sister has left me to do the work by myself? Tell her to help me!"
"Martha, Martha," the Lord answered, "you are worried and upset about many things, but only one thing is needed. Mary has chosen what is better, and it will not be taken away from her."
Luke 10:38-42 (NIV)
How fortunate were those who were able to be in the company of Jesus Christ when He, the human embodiment of God, walked this Earth. Can you think of anything more wonderfully reassuring and awesome as this experience? Yet some did not fully recognize what they were experiencing. The words of Jesus were obviously of great importance to Mary as she prioritized the time she had with Him. One of the messages that Jesus gave us repeatedly in His teachings is not to worry over the petty things of this world, but to look at the bigger picture of what the real concerns that face us should be. We cannot walk with the physical Jesus or sit at His feet as He teaches us. But we can still be with God. Our Heavenly Father wants us to give Him what He gave us in the first place--our time.
One of those days Jesus went out to a mountainside to pray, and spent the night praying to God. When morning came, he called his disciples to him and chose twelve of them, whom he also designated apostles:
Luke 6:12-13 (NIV)
Very early in the morning, while it was still dark, Jesus got up, left the house and went off to a solitary place, where he prayed.
Mark 1:35 (NIV)
Then, because so many people were coming and going that they did not even have a chance to eat, he said to them, "Come with me by yourselves to a quiet place and get some rest."
Mark 6:31 (NIV)
As we can see in the Bible, Jesus set the example for us many times. Sometimes even Jesus needed time alone to talk to His Father. Throughout the Bible in fact we see God's people going to Him in solitude, peace, and quiet. With the distractions that surround us taken away, we can focus our minds, our bodies, and our souls. We should always be in an attitude of prayer, praise, and gratitude. However, each day we should have a time to step away from the noise and worry of our daily lives and talk to God, study His Word, and listen for that still small voice until it speaks more loudly and clearly than anything else. God will speak if we will listen.
Give ear to my words, O LORD,
consider my sighing.
Listen to my cry for help,
my King and my God,
for to you I pray.
In the morning, O LORD, you hear my voice;
in the morning I lay my requests before you
and wait in expectation.
Psalm 5:1-3 (NIV)
Set aside a special time to spend with God. For many the morning is the time that works best--not just the amazing beauty of God's creation awakening, but it is a time when we are fresh and our surroundings may be in less turmoil. Starting a new day with the companionship of God can do wonders for starting your day in the right way. No matter what the time, what matters most is the time. It should not be your duty or your sacrifice, but the willing desire to want to be with God and learn what He has to teach you. Call Him, wait, and listen and God will be there for you.
This is what the Sovereign LORD, the Holy One of Israel, says:
"In repentance and rest is your salvation,
in quietness and trust is your strength,
but you would have none of it.
Isaiah 30:15 (NIV)
Don't let pride and worldly ambition distance you from your Lord. Sure you have your work to do, but don't stay so busy that you don't take the time to renew your energy and strength. Take comfort beside the still waters and let God restore your soul. Sometimes the crazyness of this noisy, hustle-bustle life we lead will wear us down and eventually dire consequences will ensue. Many of us never seem to learn although we have generations of experience to teach us. It's in God Word. Take some quiet time and study what the Bible has to say. Everything you really need to know about life is right there for you.
The LORD is good to those whose hope is in him,
to the one who seeks him;
it is good to wait quietly
for the salvation of the LORD.
It is good for a man to bear the yoke
while he is young.
Let him sit alone in silence,
for the LORD has laid it on him.
Lamentations 3:25-28 (NIV)
When should you start setting aside some you and God time? Right now if you're not doing it yet. You're never too old to start and you're never too young. Children should be taught at an early age to spend time with God. Many parents think nothing of plopping their kids in front of the television set for one on one time with a piece of electonic equipment that doesn't hear what they have to say or how they feel. Wouldn't it be better if those parents could shut off the television and let the child meditate in the silence of God's awesome presence. But like Jesus did, those parents need to set the example and teach the children how to do this. Sadly, some parents don't have any more time for their children than they do for God. Then again other parents think that if they devote all their time to their children that is best. The most important thing is balance--all of our lives need balance. Learn to set priorities. What should your priorities be? Ask God and see what He says.