we all have patterns–some we want to change, and do. some we need to change and realize it will take a lifetime to completely transform. and others we want to change, not because they are bad or damaging, but just because we want to change them–and sometime, we just can’t.
my shoes are the absolute first thing i take off when i walk in the door. before the mail gets put on the counter, or the coat gets hung in the closet, the shoes are coming off! years ago, i tried to train myself to take my shoes to the bedroom closet. that did not work. and i tried for a solid six months. what i realized is that taking so seriously the location of where i kicked off my shoes was trumping the very relaxation i was seeking by kicking them off first.
i confess: i have claustrophic feet. even as i write this, i am bare-footed. i love the freedom of wiggly toes, of feeling the blanket wrapped around my feets (yes, plural: feets), of feeling the change from carpet to tile to carpet as i wander through my apartment. i’m a texture person, and my feet help me experience all the textures of life.
to try and rein in my propensity to kick off my shoes first thing created far more stress than needed. so instead, i worked with it. i have a shoe rack just inside my door and another in the hall closet. so instead of forcing myself to do something that just does not work, i worked with my own tendencies and found a solution that gave me everything i wanted–freedom of feet, and organized shoes all at the same time.
we all do this. not with our shoes, but with our faith. convinced we have to force someone else’s approach to faith into our lives, we hang our hat somewhere we don’t want to, or try to force our shoes to the back bedroom closet because it worked for someone else. or we try to do devotions first thing in the morning when only the cobwebs are in our brains and not even the most loving person in the world would dare talk to us before that first cup of coffee–why? because someone told us it was the only way to truly give your day to God.
balogna! (not the “lunchmeat”)…where did God say He required devotion in the morning?!? Where does He say you have to read the entire Bible in a year? Does He ever tell us that He requires us to come to Him in any specific way? Or does He just tell us to come?!?
Yes, it is good to set your day before God. But don’t you think He would rather have you do it when you are conscious and aware rather than grumbling and staggering to the coffeepot? He loves spending time with us–and really, He would love you to commit your entire day to Him…here’s the important part: commit your day to Him in whatever way HE asks…not me, nor your pastor, nor your parents, nor the latest speaker on the Christian circuit. your relationship with God is about you and Him, not you and me and Him. so i speak to Him in pen and paper, over coffee, and sometimes a computer. but sometimes it’s over a piano, or in the car, or at my desk.
where and how you interact with God is between you and God. so don’t get hung up on one leader’s devotion series, another’s Bible study, and yet another’s reading plan. get with God–in whatever way He asks. And you will find that you will be hanging out with Him far more often than you ever did before.