Life is hard.
We are busy. There are constant demands for our time, energy and presence.
We are getting close to finishing 2013. When I look back at this year, I’m amazed at what has transpired in my life. It’s been an incredible year. But it’s also been an incredibly full year.
And through all of it, I’ve been tempted every day to live for myself. As I’ve been tremendously busy, I withdraw to myself. I tell Sara that I’m too tired or busy to spend time with her or the kids or doing errands. Instead, I work on doctorate work, flight training, or do more church work.
The irony is that as busy as I am, I often use that personal time unproductively and play video games or waste time clicking on random links on Facebook. So while Sara is getting up earlier than I am to take care of the kids or spending extra time with both of them, I’m focusing on myself.
Which yes, sometimes that’s needed. But I feel like my default assumption in the last eighteen months has been “How can I get what I need?” And I justify this by saying that I need time to do all these important things like work and study.
But here’s what I’ve found:
I could work a forty hours a week (on top of my very full-time job) on self-improvement activities and still not do as much as I’d like to.
I can’t remember the last time I’ve been bored. There are so many things that I wish I could be doing, that I try to do. There’s really no limit to it. I can always think of another book to read, something else to write, another video game to play, another quiet time to have, another song to learn… the list goes on.
And all of these things are fine in and of themselves. But I’ve discovered that I’ll never have done enough for myself. I’ll always want to do that next thing.
However, there simply isn’t enough time in this life to do it all. I have to give some of it up.
I have to die to my own desires.
And I’m terrible at this. I live for the moment. I’m a perpetual procrastinator, putting off the sacrifice and work that I’m called to make and do.
While I’ve been thinking about all this, I’ve also been thinking about many of my desires for our church, our staff, and our community. I’ve been thinking a lot about the word “revival.” What would a revival look in Fort Dodge? In our church?
I’ve come to realize that if I want revival in Fort Dodge, or in our church, it has to start with me.
I need to pray for revival in my own heart. I need to die to my own desires. When I allow God to do the difficult work of transforming my heart, I’ll be equipped to help others do that same.
Until I am open to God’s leading in my own life, to die to my own selfishness, I can’t expect others to do that.
If we want to see revival in our community, it has to start in our selves.
In what part of your life do you need to die to yourself?