In the modern world, people are very, very impatient. Everything is instant, and people often place haste over quality. Things like fast food, texting and instant messaging, and cashing checks on mobile phones are all examples of ways that people try to get what they want as fast as possible. The third facet of Returning to Sender is all about the problems that our impatient lifestyles can cause.
When we pray, sometimes it seems as though God doesn’t check His email very often. And we all know how annoying it is when people don’t check their messages very often! Sometimes we find ourselves looking at our watches and shaking our heads as we wait for God to send a reply.
We so often forget that that’s not the way it works! I talked briefly about this earlier- Christians get impatient with God! We make the mistake of thinking that God is supposed to fit into our schedules. We try to cram God into the ten minutes between our dentist appointment and our lunch meeting, and if He isn’t fast enough, then we just have to skip it!
What we so often fail to recognize is that God isn’t supposed to fit into our schedules! He never will! God is outside of time- He doesn’t live within this constrictive boundary that we call time. He created it, and He’s looking on from outside. Yes, He sees what’s going on inside of Time. Yes, He works within Time. But He Himself isn’t bound by time. And because of this, we’ll never be able to fit Him into our schedules and plans. He doesn’t fit!
This may sound odd. Maybe you’re thinking, “But you just told me to spend more time with God, and now you’re telling me too bad, it’s impossible?” No! That’s not what I’m saying! What I’m saying is, God can’t be placed within our schedules. God needs to BE our schedule! God needs to be the wall that the calendar is pinned to, not confined within a few of the little squares in the calendar!
God doesn’t run on our plan. And a lot of the time, He doesn’t even let us run on our plan. God’s got the ultimate plan- He sees the big picture, and He knows exactly where each one of us fits into it. Rather than try to fit Him into our plan, we need to let go and let Him fit us into His plan!
This can be hard. I know you have a life. Believe it or not, I do too- an extremely busy one, especially for a homeschooled 15-year-old kid. Sometimes, it can be very, very hard for me to “fit God in” to the busy scramble of haphazardly planned activity that I call my life. Sometimes I get really stressed about all my commitments and everything I need to do, and I forget the find a place for God.
But when I step back and look at my life, I realize that it’s not about fitting God into my life. It’s about fitting my life into God. He’s got the grand schematic, and He knows what’s going on. Why would I try to go by my plan when I don’t even know exactly what I’m going to be doing in five hours, much less what everyone else around me is going to be doing! God sees the whole thing, knows everything that will happen, and He’s got it all planned out. I just need to let go, and let God.
We need to recognize that if we don’t have time for God in our lives, then we’re not living our lives the way we need to. Either we’re wasting too much time, or we’ve fallen prey to an even trickier trap. This trap is something that ensnares many, many Christians. Maybe your schedule really is full, and it’s not because you’re wasting time. Maybe you’re spending your time very well, serving at the church, volunteering, being a “good person.”
However, no matter how good your works are, if you’re not making time to really spend time with God, then you need to change your commitments. Remember, your very first priority is God. All of these problems stem from a mix-up in a person’s priority list. When we are finding that we don’t have the time we need or want to spend with God, it means that we need to step back and reevaluate our schedule remembering that God is the very top of the priority list. Everything else needs to be built around your time with Him.
This doesn’t mean that it’s bad to be sacrificing your time to serve. That is a very, very good thing! For the most part, you want to keep those things. But if you are stretching yourself too thin, you will often find that your focus comes off of God too much. When you are trying to focus on too many things at once, you give too little of yourself to each thing, and you will become ineffective as a servant and you will be unable to focus on God.
So from now on, when you’re going through your schedule, don’t allow yourself to remove God to make room for “more important things.” There are no more important things. God isn’t just at the top of the list. God is the paper the list is written on.
And don’t you forget it!