I was recently in a small group with several student athletes from Huntington University. In this group there are men who are in season and out of season. But one theme seemed to be resonating with all of them. None of us have enough time. As much as I want to believe that this person or that person has more time than I have, I realize that we all seem to be in a hurry.
Often the people that I wish I could spend more time with I see in passing at Wal-mart or Owen’s or we rush by and say hi as we bus our kids to different events around town. I think that we all need to take a moment, slow down and figure out what there is in our lives that we need to get rid of because it is keeping us from connecting with actual human beings.
As I sat with that group of men that night, I shared with them some advice that I read in a book by an author named John Ortberg. I don’t remember which book it was, but I think he was quoting a man named Dallas Willard. Regardless of who said it, it was good advice. “Ruthlessly eliminate hurry from your life.” Hurry steals the joy from many of our lives. Could there be something in our lives, even a good thing, that if we eliminated it would open up space in our lives for God to bring a greater sense of joy to our lives?
When we get rid of some things that we don’t have to do, we may just find out that there are a few things now that we get to do. Serve in a ministry, pray regularly, read our Bibles, exercise. How about this? Invite someone over to enjoy an evening of conversation and growing in friendship. What are your priorities?
The early church understood the importance of this. In fact, outside of gathering for worship together, we read that “They broke bread in their homes and ate together with glad and sincere hearts,” Acts 2:46
The other night, a newer couple invited Molly, the girls, and me over for dinner. They cooked us one of their family favorite meals. Much to my delight and my children’s surprise, they covered the table with newspaper, took the pot of food and poured it out on the table. Out came corn on the cob, sausage, red potatoes, and shrimp. Our wonderful hostess then placed a melted bowl of butter in front of me as I wept
for joy. No plates, no silverware, just laughter and glad and sincere hearts. I truly believe that both this couple and our family could have come up with dozens of reasons that we didn’t have time to do this, but we didn’t and I am grateful. Our relationship grew and God’s church grew stronger.
It is so easy to say that we should get together or have people over or connect with a new family in the church. But too often “we should” becomes we didn’t. John shares with us that mere intentions are not enough. So as Pastor, I will let his challenge to the early church be my challenge to you: 18 Dear children, let us not love with words or speech but with actions and in truth. 1 John 3:18
- Josh Kesler, Senior Pastor