In the Morning . . .

My alarm goes off at 4:30 (yes a.m.) and after a shower and a steaming cup of life elixir, I am at my desk, ready to dig in and get all spiritual. I open my laptop and see that Facebook says I have notifications – I’ll just check those real quick to see if I need to respond to anyone and see who is having a birthday. I’d also better check the weather to see how I should dress today then I’ll get back to my quiet time But first I need to post the Scripture we’re writing today.  Oh, a friend is asking for prayer. I need to respond to her. And this looks like a good article. Oops, look at the time, I’ve just wasted 20 minutes! I need to get to writing.

I take the responsibility of writing a devotional every day very much to heart. (There have been a few mornings that a little girl needed her Nana and I didn’t get to the devotional.) I get in the Word and start to study, then with fingers on the keyboard, the Word and the Spirit speak and I type. I post the day’s devotional to Facebook and to my blog. Now I have just enough time to fix some breakfast and finish getting ready for work.  But wait. Something is missing. When did I take the time to pray? I didn’t.

With all the things I try to accomplish every morning – shower, feed the cat, clean up after midnight kitchen raids, study, write Scripture, write a devotional, eat breakfast, make lunch, and get out the door and off to work – prayer is too often a casualty of busyness and – let’s be honest – distractions. I know the power of prayer, yet I often fail to make time for it. So I decided to do just that – make time for it. I set my alarm for 4:00. Yes a.m. And to remind me that prayer is the priority, I made a lock screen for my laptop that I see before I can log on. 

David said, “In the morning, O Lord, You hear my voice; in the morning I lay my requests before you and wait in expectation” (Ps 5:3). I realize that God cannot hear my voice in the morning if I’m not praying. I don’t want to miss this precious time. Beloved, have you been with the Lord yet?

Make Every Minute Count

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Facebook is a ministry tool for me, but it is also a huge time-waster. Every day I promise myself I will post my devotional and the Scripture for the day and get off. I swear I won’t jump back in every time I see a notification. But I have yet to pull that off. It’s too easy to get caught up in the pictures of your kiddos and your funny memes and the next thing you know I’ve blown thirty minutes I’ll never get back. That’s why I’ve adapted Moses’ words in Psalm 90:12 and posted them on my wall above my desk: “Teach [me] to number [my minutes], that I may gain a heart of wisdom.”

In his original statement, Moses was asking the Lord to show him how to weigh the time He had been allotted in this life, to recognize its value, and invest it wisely and carefully. I doubt he would have spent much time on social media or surfing the web, playing video games, or watching television.  Moses regarded time as a means to wisdom. And I don’t know about you, but I sure need some wisdom. Interestingly, some translations say “that we may present to You a heart of wisdom.” Now that should make us sit up and pay attention. We will present to God the fruit of our time. Will I honor His gift of time by presenting to Him wise decisions, obedience and faithful service, and a deeper understanding of His Word? That all depends on how I invest in today.

My minutes are pretty stretched every day between work, graduate school, writing, studying, and teaching, and being a full-on Nana (the very best investment of my time).  Every once in a while I have to mop the floors too. I really don’t have time to waste on mindless drivel. But I still do. God has been impressing me with the thought of eternity. Everything in this life should be weighed in the balance of eternity. Every word, every action, every decision has eternal value. That is where the fruit of all the minutes goes. You and I need to learn to number our days and our minutes and invest them in the things that will last forever. Like people and truth and compassion and the gospel. When we stand before the Lord will we have good fruit or lots of memes to show for the time He’s given us? Beloved, how will you make your minutes count?

Minutes, Hours, Days, and Years

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Photo: Tom Hussey

My days are packed. I am up at 4:30 and before I leave the house I have filled my morning with Bible study, prayer, writing, (and usually Joy!). And coffee. I put in a full day at the best job ever and come home to supper (my hubby is retired and does the cooking – I am blessed!). I clean-up, often bathe Joy and then spend the rest of the evening studying. I hit the bed and start the cycle all over again. Seven of those make a week and those weeks make a month. Months become years and somehow, it’s almost 2022. That’s why my heart is pricked by Moses’ prayer: “Teach us to number our days aright, that we may gain a heart of wisdom” (Psalm 90:12). He is not saying, “teach us to count how old we are.” The word “number” here means to “weigh out,” – to place value on our days. Moses could have said, “Teach us to weigh our days . . .”

We know that days are made up of hours, which are made up of minutes. But we forget that every minute counts. Here’s a question for you (and me). Do you have any idea how many minutes a day you spend mindlessly scrolling through Facebook or Instagram or surfing the internet? Have you ever been surprised at just how much time passed while you were thumbing through your phone? I don’t know about you, but I’m guilty of wasting minutes I will never get back. Minutes that make up hours that make up days that make up weeks and months and years and a lifetime. So, I’ve adapted Moses’ prayer: “Lord, teach me to number my minutes, that I may gain a heart of wisdom.” Teach me to weigh them, to understand how precious – and fleeting – they are. Teach me to spend those minutes wisely on eternal things – on the Gospel, on people, on Your Kingdom. I’m not saying, never go on Facebook again; that’s where I connect with most of you. But you and I need to value the time we invest there and make every minute count for eternity. The poet, Mary Oliver, famously asked, “What is it you plan to do with your one wild and precious life?” Consider your answer to that question, Beloved, and spend your minutes well.