If you’re anything like me, you have a tendency to read things in scripture as if you were reading a fortune cookie. You hear it and think, “That’s nice,” but it really doesn’t sink in or affect your life. I mean, when is the last time you read, “The greatest risk is not taking one,” right after a heaping pile of General Tsao’s and thought, “Now’s a good time to jump out of a perfectly good airplane.”
For me, this happens a lot when I read things like Romans 12. In verses one and two of The Message translation, it says,
“So here’s what I want you to do, God helping you: Take your everyday, ordinary life—your sleeping, eating, going-to-work, and walking-around life—and place it before God as an offering. Embracing what God does for you is the best thing you can do for him. Don’t become so well-adjusted to your culture that you fit into it without even thinking. Instead, fix your attention on God. You’ll be changed from the inside out. Readily recognize what he wants from you, and quickly respond to it. Unlike the culture around you, always dragging you down to its level of immaturity, God brings the best out of you, develops well-formed maturity in you.”
I look at that and think, “Wow that’s cool. God wants my whole life, even the questionable-less-than-fun-to-talk-about-stuff.” Then, I put the Bible down and go on to my next thing leaving God and His word behind. I am an expert at this pattern and I imagine, I’m not alone in this.
This morning I went for a run. It was an exciting time to go running because Nike has recently teamed up with Spotify to allow integration between both apps and the ability to listen to a “Pace Station.” A pace station puts a bunch of songs with the same beats per minute on to a playlist so that you can maintain a consistent pace while you run. So I head out this morning equipped with these awesome new features and a need for speed! I hit play and headed out listening to Pitbull talk about being on fire. Sounded painful but kept me moving nonetheless.
About half of a mile into the run, the music stops. I pressed play, nothing. I tried again, nothing. I skipped ahead to the next song, the next one, one more… nothing. And there I was, early into my run, sweating way too much and breathing way too heavily with no music. I know, first world problems but let’s just keep focused on the topic at hand if you don’t mind! At that moment that scripture came flooding into my spirit. I couldn’t shake it. I realized God wanted more than I was giving Him. He wanted to come with me in this moment. He wanted to be present with me and wanted me to be present with Him. I finished the run listening to worship music and spending some time with Him. I wish I could say that this is my first response on a regular basis but the truth is I am flawed. I am guilty of reading the Bible like a fortune cookie and not letting it into my heart on a regular basis. But today was a different day. Today, I got it right. Today I let God speak to me and I encourage you to do the same. Look at your life; The day to day, seemingly mundane and mindless task that you are withholding from God. Where can you invite Him in a little more? What can you offer Him today that lets Him draw a little closer?
Maybe it’s your drive to work, or doing the laundry. Maybe it’s cooking dinner or washing the dishes. Maybe it’s working on your car or cutting the grass. I’d be willing to bet that if we put a little thought in, we can find a little bit of space to allow Him to increase in our lives. For me, it was a 30-minute run that He was just waiting to be invited in to. Where is He waiting for you?