Thursday, September 4, 2014

Like a Corroded Flashlight

Photo Courtesy of Gualberto 107/freedigitalphotos.net
I will meditate on your precepts
    and fix my eyes on your ways. Psalm 119:15 ESV

The wind is kicking up, the TV stations are all airing radar of the storms moving through the area.  Sirens are blaring, plants and chairs outside are blowing over, and cats are scurrying under the beds.  I grab a bag and start dumping books, snacks, and blankets into it, strap the baby in the car seat and head downstairs.  Tornado season in Wisconsin...always an adventure.
We get downstairs and I turn on the radio.  Boom.  Power is out.  I grab the flashlight from the cupboard above the washing machine.  Flip the switch.  A low glow is emitted momentarily, but slowly fades. 
And...in my best Minnesota-girl drawl I say in a whisper, "Ah, crap."
I had done pretty good, right?  I had a bag, I had stuff for the baby, and I knew where my flashlight was.  But, WHEN had I last checked in on that flashlight?  Maybe last year during storm season? 
Here's the thing...we often leave things unattended, don't we?  We will often maintain it for a while, and it may stay in the front of our mind...but then we let things slide.

Our prayer time.
Our Bible study time.
Our exercise routine.
Our healthy diet.

Our marriage?
Our relationship with God?
Our friendships?

Let's take marriage and look at it closely.  We fall in love, have a wonderful wedding day, maybe a honeymoon and a year of "firsts".  But, we get busy, we have meetings for work, we might get sick parents to care for, or kids with special needs...or JUST kids!!!  Suddenly, the marriage isn't being tended, and the relationship can start to become easier to un-maintain than to maintain.  Before we know it, we might "need our marriage" to be there, but because we haven't been maintaining it we realize that it's weakened...that it's become unfamiliar, and that we don't know how to make it work during a stressful time.

Now let's look at our relationships with God.  It's exciting when we first meet Him...when He comes into our heart and we are ALL on fire for the Lord. 
Woo-hoo! 
What a high!  
But, then we start to get caught up in the world again...we get tired and can't find time to pray in the morning before rushing to work and we had a change in our schedules and can't meet for Bible study anymore.  Maybe life has just gotten so complicated that we even cut out weekly church because, "I can have church anywhere...it's between me and God."  Okay, so, make sure it is TIME for you and God!  Because days turn into week, and weeks turn into months and suddenly it's been a year since you've actually spent quality time with God.  Then, a trial pops into your life and you have to somehow get this relationship with God back into shape so it can "work" for you and help you through a difficult time.

My FAVORITE song on the radio right now is "Fix My Eyes" by For King and Country.  

Fight for the weak ones, 
Speak out for freedom,
Find faith in the battle, 
Stand tall an above it all
Fix.My.Eyes. on You.


Whenever I hear this song, I am taken to a place where, mentally, I can do anything.  I feel my passion for life well up inside me and tell me that, when my eyes are fixed on Jesus, nothing is impossible.
Nothing IS impossible with God.
But we have to be WITH God.  We can't have a strong relationship with Him if we aren't making Him a priority.  We can't hear His direction if we don't talk to Him enough to recognize His voice.  We can't fix our eyes on Him if we don't know His character and how He has handled situations in our past.
When I was in graduate school, I sold Mary Kay Cosmetics and I read that Mary Kay Ash's guideline for how her consultants were to prioritize their lives was 1. Faith, 2. Family, 3. Career.
Is that how you have prioritized your life?  Is that how I have?  Check the flashlights, test the smoke detectors, and make sure the spare tire is inflated.  We don't know when we will need them; but if we aren't paying attention, they won't be ready for us when we do.  

Pray:  Heavenly Father, help me to keep my eyes fixed on You so all other things in my life fall into place.  I don't want to put you, or my marriage, or my kids in a drawer and only think to pull that drawer open when I NEED to.  I want to have a better focus on what matters to You.  Amen.

~Tammie Hefty

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