Priorities when we’re short on time

Dear God,

Time is short, so I only have a moment…

Isn’t that the description of the way I often deal with you…”I’ve only got a moment”…”Oh yeah, Thank you”…or, ”Lord, I didn’t think of this earlier, but thanks again.”

No ill intentions or intentional snub here…I just get busy and forget. As much as I like to think differently I suspect forgetting is a more accurate story of my faith life at times. I’m embarrassed to even think that’s the truth, and even more embarrassed to see it written on paper for everyone else to see.

So then I start talking to myself, and I says to myself, I says, “Self, is this the best you can do?” And then, stuck there talking to myself with nobody else to put pressure on me, I have to tell myself very clearly that it’s not. I can do better.

So what keeps me from doing better? That’s a good question, so I says to myself, I says, “Self, why don’t you do better than you are, especially given the fact that we’ve had this conversation many times over the years?” Then I bring out the excuses…

At first I bring out the “I’m busy”-thing.

Then I try the “I just forget”-thing.

I usually work in the “I’ll do it better later”-thing.

If I’m feeling defensive I’ll play the “People have been demanding too much lately”-thing.

But then, after none of these “things” actually get to the core of it I’ll have to admit that I just don’t make thanking you a priority. I don’t make a priority of thanking you in the morning for the new day ahead of me: that I’ve been given another opportunity to enjoy a day of life and see my loved ones and friends. I’ll admit that I don’t make a priority of pausing at night when I lay my head on the pillow: thanking you for the day, whether good or bad, and pausing to consider where I’ve seen you throughout the day.

Dear God,

Time is short, so I only have a moment…

Isn’t that the description of the way I often deal with you…”I’ve only got a moment”…”Oh yeah, Thank you”…or, ”Lord, I didn’t think of this earlier, but thanks again.”

No ill intentions or intentional snub here…I just get busy and forget. As much as I like to think differently I suspect forgetting is a more accurate story of my faith life at times. I’m embarrassed to even think that’s the truth, and even more embarrassed to see it written on paper for everyone else to see.

So then I start talking to myself, and I says to myself, I says, “Self, is this the best you can do?” And then, stuck there talking to myself with nobody else to put pressure on me, I have to tell myself very clearly that it’s not. I can do better.

So what keeps me from doing better? That’s a good question, so I says to myself, I says, “Self, why don’t you do better than you are, especially given the fact that we’ve had this conversation many times over the years?” Then I bring out the excuses…

At first I bring out the “I’m busy”-thing.

Then I try the “I just forget”-thing.

I usually work in the “I’ll do it better later”-thing.

If I’m feeling defensive I’ll play the “People have been demanding too much lately”-thing.

But then, after none of these “things” actually get to the core of it I’ll have to admit that I just don’t make thanking you a priority. I don’t make a priority of thanking you in the morning for the new day ahead of me: that I’ve been given another opportunity to enjoy a day of life and see my loved ones and friends. I’ll admit that I don’t make a priority of pausing at night when I lay my head on the pillow: thanking you for the day, whether good or bad, and pausing to consider where I’ve seen you throughout the day.

Dear God,

Time is short, so I only have a moment…

Isn’t that the description of the way I often deal with you…”I’ve only got a moment”…”Oh yeah, Thank you”…or, ”Lord, I didn’t think of this earlier, but thanks again.”

No ill intentions or intentional snub here…I just get busy and forget. As much as I like to think differently I suspect forgetting is a more accurate story of my faith life at times. I’m embarrassed to even think that’s the truth, and even more embarrassed to see it written on paper for everyone else to see.

So then I start talking to myself, and I says to myself, I says, “Self, is this the best you can do?” And then, stuck there talking to myself with nobody else to put pressure on me, I have to tell myself very clearly that it’s not. I can do better.

So what keeps me from doing better? That’s a good question, so I says to myself, I says, “Self, why don’t you do better than you are, especially given the fact that we’ve had this conversation many times over the years?” Then I bring out the excuses…

At first I bring out the “I’m busy”-thing.

Then I try the “I just forget”-thing.

I usually work in the “I’ll do it better later”-thing.

If I’m feeling defensive I’ll play the “People have been demanding too much lately”-thing.

But then, after none of these “things” actually get to the core of it I’ll have to admit that I just don’t make thanking you a priority. I don’t make a priority of thanking you in the morning for the new day ahead of me: that I’ve been given another opportunity to enjoy a day of life and see my loved ones and friends. I’ll admit that I don’t make a priority of pausing at night when I lay my head on the pillow: thanking you for the day, whether good or bad, and pausing to consider where I’ve seen you throughout the day.

Being honest with ourselves isn’t easy. I do a pretty good job of keeping you in mind every day, but at times I have to admit I’m more talk than action. I talk about the analogy of faith being the muscle that needs to be used in order to stay strong, but the truth of the matter is that at times I don’t “get to the gym” or do the exercise so that my relationship with you gets stronger rather than weakened from non-use.

I guess keeping you in my life will come down to only one thing: either I’m going to make a commitment (and renewed commitment) to you or I’m not…it’s that simple.

I suspect that you’re as welcoming of excuses for not getting something done as any parent would be. If I asked my kids to clean the room and they give me excuses I’d be irritated, frustrated, angry, and disappointed that I asked them to do something simple and they didn’t do it. I can then guess that when I play the “busy”, “forget”, “later”, “demands” card or anything else, the truth of the matter is I didn’t do what you want me to do and that I said I would do. I suspect that you’d also be disappointed with me as I have been with my own kids.

So, I’m going to try over. I’m going to hit the re-set button. I’m making a sticky note right now and putting it on my calendar and all I’m going to put on the note is “Remember.” Until my memory issues start to get worse I think that’s all I’ll need: Remember to be thankful.

So let me thank you right now. Thank you for not casting me out when I continually set you aside with so many excuses. I know I might not be perfect about this every day but I am going to exercise my faith muscle to simply “Remember”.

As always, thanks for listening. I love you.

Dan