Disclaimer: I have heard the VOICE OF TRUTH so much over the last few days, I hardly know where to begin or where to end...
This weekend I read through Chapters One and Two of Max Lucado's "Facing Your Giants". As I read through the chapters, the song "Voice of Truth" by Casting Crowns just kept playing over and over in my head. Then, on the way to study this morning, it played again. Then, in the car after study, it played again. The lyric that is resounding in my mind is
But the giant's calling out my name and he laughs at me
Reminding me of all the times I've tried before and failed
The giant keeps on telling me
Time and time again "boy, you'll never win!
But the voice of truth tells me a different story
And the voice of truth says "Do not be afraid!"
And the voice of truth says "This is for My glory"
Out of all the voices calling out to me
I will choose to listen and believe the voice of truth.
It wasn't until I recognized my giants that I could start to hear the voice of truth. Because when I can finally recognize my giant it is then I can hand it over to God. And our giants can change daily, right?
Before I introduce one of my giants to you, let me just say that until this morning in Women's Connections, I was certain I was the only woman that would even call something that seemed so trivial a giant. And then, someone else introduced my giant before I could even open my mouth...
The biggest giant in my life, lately, is time management and organization. Laugh if you must. I'm sure that seems so trivial to some but I struggle with being a good steward of the time the the Lord has given to me. God's word says:
"Be very careful, then, how you live - not as unwise but as wise, making the most of every opportunity, because the days are evil. Therefore, do not be foolish, but understand what the Lord's will is." - Ephesians 5:15-17
God tells us flat out to make the most of EVERY opportunity. How many times do I sit and watch my son play, or set him down to play so that I can get other things done. How many times do I sit idle on the computer when I could be serving my husband or reaching out to others. It is my job to serve the Lord, serve my husband, serve my children and then to do the other activities. There is a time for everything if we are careful to plan:
"There is a time for everything, and a season for every activity under heaven"
- Ecc 3:1
(Read the rest of Ecclesiastes Chapter Three here, it's the TRUTH - Turns out... the Beatles didn't come up with their lyrics themselves...)
This tells me how important it is to plan to make the most of the time that He has given to me for service. I have been resisting a plan because it seems too hard to stick to it. But why? Am I missing out on anything if I don't stick to it? I actually believe I am missing more opportunities by NOT sticking to it. It seems like I have had to be in a routine since I was in kindergarten. Someone always saying you will do this at this time and this is how.
Then we get to high school and it's school, sports, and a part-time job and it is again, you will do this at this time and this is how. Then we get to college, and we make our own choices about what to be involved in, and I was over-involved. Constantly having to plan each fifteen minute increment in order to be in the right place at the right time, succeed in classes and not let anyone down. In the mean time, I tried to fit in a boyfriend and a social life.
That overwhelming anxiety that I would feel when I can't breathe because I am exhausted just thinking about my day, let alone actually accomplishing the long task list. Be here, do this, study that - sleep? Who needs sleep? Rest? Who needs rest? You have a twenty page paper due in another class? I thought I was your only professor!
But then, it just got better. I joined the working world and real life. However, I didn't need a schedule. Who has time for anything but work during busy season? Who needs a plan when they eat, sleep, work, repeat?
So, when Matthew was born it was the first time in 20 years that I didn't have to be routine. I had an excuse to put on my sweatpants, throw my hair back in a pony tail, turn on the television and feed my baby every two hours. Sorry momma, you can only pull that off for a couple of weeks.
The GIANT says, ha - here we go again: the cupboards need refilled, the laundry needs done, and oh that wooden furniture that used to shine? It needs dusted. Have you looked at your floorboards lately? Hey mom, Matthew can crawl - when's the last time you vacuumed? Oh, and, you've got some big Mary Kay goals but you haven't even been on the phone."
But the VOICE OF TRUTH says, "Have you even played with your son today? Or have you just kept an eye on him? Have you made him giggle today, or have you just watched him slobber? Have you taught him anything today, or have you just handed him a toy?"
The VOICE OF TRUTH spoke yesterday during the message at church. Our pastor quoted scripture and said, "The world and its desires pass away but the person who does the will of God lives forever." He continued to explain, "The things of this world are temporary. The things of this world are empty and yet, we just fight so hard to really believe that. God wants you to be happy but not through the things of this world. They’re empty and temporary. And actually the fact of the matter is God wants you more than happy. God wants you blessed. God wants you more than happy. He wants you blessed. If you look at the scriptures, new International version, there are about 31 instances of the word happy. There are over 400 of the word bless or blessed. God wants you blessed. Blessed is so much better than happiness. Why? Because happiness deals with the happenings around us. It’s all external. Blessed is what’s going on inside of us. It’s deeper. Happiness? Happiness can be taken away from you. The stock market can go south, you can lose all your money. Somebody can steal your car. You can, all of a sudden, contract a deadly disease and your health is gone. Happiness can be taken away from you. No one can take away being blessed."
The VOICE OF TRUTH was on Life 107.1 on the way home today when the topic of "Family Life Today" was "Mixed Feelings Stirred Up By The Empty Nest". Suddenly I realized that my son could be taken from me at any moment, that God willing he will become a man, meet a woman who will become his wife and leave. He won't always be "momma's buddy" or "momma's little helper". And that moment is going to come before I know it. And suddenly, I'll wonder where the time went, what I did with it and my house will be way to clean, way too organized, and way too empty. Prioritize, said the VOICE OF TRUTH.
Max Lucado points out that in I Samuel 17, rather than David dwelling on Goliath he references God nine times to the two times he even mentions Goliath. Here he has the enormous giant to slay right in front of his face, and he can't physically see God. He has to trust that God is there! Blind faith! Lucado says "Are you four times as likely to describe the strength of God as you are the demands of your day?"
So, as I sit and know that I need a plan, I run from that and avoid it because the negative thoughts tell me that I can't stick to it, it will create anxiety, it will take away the "fun" things. I know the only way to make the most of every moment and honor God is to have a daily plan. I need to hear what God is telling us through the story of David. "Lift your eyes, giant-slayer. The God who made a miracle out of David stands ready to make one out of you."
The everyday tasks are for HIS glory. HE has given me plenty of time to nourish, educate, enrich, and teach my son and still make my home a sanctuary for my family (I didn't say it was a sanctuary, critics, but that I CAN make it that way) and to serve HIM, but I need to make the most of every moment. Be wise in how I spend my time.
My giant? The waves that keep on telling me time and time again "you can never win".
My sling and a stone? A routine. So darn simple.
The voice of truth? "Do not be complacent in your ways. Do not be afraid, this is for MY glory!"