Today, February 1, 2010, I find myself pondering the date. That’s partly because Phil & I have a date scheduled for tomorrow – somewhat of a tradition at our house – to celebrate Ground Hog Day. We’ll eat garlic sausage, watch the movie Ground Hog Day and just generally have fun with the holiday. But it’s more than that. The first month of the new year is over and I find myself asking questions

  • Have I begun to take hold of the eternal life to which I’ve been called?
  • Have I listened for God’s voice more diligently?
  • 8.3% of the year is over! Did I spend that 8.3% glorifying God in all that I did?

I can tell you the answer to the last question is clearly “No, not in all that I did.” Yet, there is a slow, gentle excitement growing in spirit – I can feel God working even though I can’t put my finger on it specifically. I am becoming dissatisfied with “life as usual” and with many of the ways I’ve “lost” time over the past year. Being aware of unhealthy or sinful patterns is the first step toward repenting of them. God is making me aware of such patterns and nudging me toward change.

Two Examples
I’d like to share two examples with you, but I do so with some trepidation. In my heart of hearts, I’d like you to believe that I have it all together! Of course I don’t. And I’d like you to believe that I’m an incredibly mature, godly woman. I’m not. I am a sinner, struggling to apprehend all that God has for me while still needing to overcome my selfishness, laziness and many insecurities. So, friends, I ask that you extend grace to me as I share these examples.

God is Challenging How I Use My Time
A few days ago, I wrote this in my journal:

A new experiment – What would it REALLY look like if I believed that ALL my time was God’s time? If I REALLY believed that God was in control of my time? (And on course, if I REALLY gave Him full control of my time?) I don’t know if I could sustain such an experiment for more than a few hours… What would my life look like if I REALLY trusted God with every minute and followed His leading?

Let’s start now and see what it looks like. I’m scared, that’s true. But let’s give it a try!

I’m sure we’d all like to believe that God owns our time, but when I took a hard look at how I spent mine, I couldn’t in good conscience say that He does. So for a day, I never went from one task to another without pausing to pray and consider what God wanted me to do next. The result? Some normalcy, some rebellion (I did what I wanted to do anyway) and some peace (when I listened to God, not when I did my own thing). The next day I forgot the experiment! (Amazing how much I can forget while I’m sleeping.) But the thought has come back to me periodically and I have been more conscious of how I’m spending my time (or should I say “God’s time”). In my heart of hearts, not only do I want you to believe I’m perfect, I also really want to follow God more closely and be in constant fellowship with Him. He’s beginning to bring that desire to the front of my mind more frequently and I am being obedient to respond to it more quickly – even in the midst of life’s daily priorities, whether they be work priorities, family priorities or my personal priorities.

God is Reminding Me to Listen and Watch for Him
Our small group came up with an assignment for this week: Look for “God Sightings” each day. God Sightings – circumstances in which God is moving or has moved in your life. It might be to bless you, whisper something in your ear, or convict you of sin. Who knows? Just keep your eyes and ears open for “God Sightings.”

If we believe that God is at work in us conforming us to Christ’s image, if we believe that God leads and guides us, and if we believe that God wants to bless His children, we really ought to be able to recognize His work in our lives on a daily basis. Yet for most people, it’s not as it sounds. In grad school I had a class called “Spiritual Formation.” As a part of the curriculum, we were required to journal every day what God was doing in our lives. Again, one would think such an assignment would be easy for grad students preparing for ministry. Few if any of us found it so. Thinking about this over the past several days, I’ve concluded that there are two reasons that I can’t fill pages and pages with God Sightings each day: (1) most of the time I live my life oblivious to the spiritual realm, and (2) I take the things God does for me every day for granted. I don’t want either of those things to be true about me.

Some times God has to hit me over the head to get my attention. I don’t want to be that way. I want to be ever attentive to Him. But that comes with practice and I don’t practice it enough. God is reminding me to practice!

I’m thankful for the woman in our small group who suggested we look for God Sightings this week. I’m pretty sure her suggestion was a God Sighting – His way of reminding me that it’s something He’s been nudging me toward. And I’m trying to be diligent to pause regularly to ask “is this what You want me to be doing right now, Father?” I’m afraid my independent streak deceives me into believing I can do things on my own and make my own decisions. I don’t want to live independent of God.

How about You?
How closely are you walking with God? Is He really in control of your time? Do you see Him working in your life? May I encourage you to spend some time in prayer over the next couple of days? Ask God to help you grow closer to Him. Appreciate and thank Him for the many, many things He does in your life each day. Ask Him to make you more aware of them.

Imagine how different your life would be if you were aware of the things God does for and in you each day!
As I’ve said (perhaps in a round-about way), I want to live in that knowledge. How about you?

P.S. Here’s an example of one woman who sees God in her life every day – it may seem an unusual way to see God every day, but God has revealed Himself to me in similar ways.

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