Thursday, October 22, 2015

Commentary: Focusing on God in the busyness of life

By Morgan Robinette, Young People’s Ministry Council

The world stands still for no one. There is always something to be done, a goal to achieve, a feat to accomplish. Social functions, jobs, classes, activities, and other responsibilities constantly demand our time and attention. Schedules and agendas seem to bypass the limits of human capacity, let alone the amount you can cram into a twenty-four hour day. Everyone wants to deepen their faith, but when you can barely find time to breathe, how can you remain focused on God?

Spending time growing your relationship with God is essential to living a Christian life, but often gets put on a back burner when life gets busy. Scripture is read in church on Sunday, but your Bible remains closed on the nightstand from Monday to Saturday as you race to address the demands of the week. Church services are skipped due to other obligations. Prayer falls from a regular part of your day to something you do only when the occasion calls. Your mind slowly becomes more and more occupied, until a whole day goes by and you haven’t given God a single thought.

Making time for your Father is easier than you may think. A few minor adjustments can help you stay focused on God throughout the day. First and foremost, you must have a desire to grow closer to Him. James 4:8 says, “Draw near to God, and He will draw near to you.” Once you commit to your decision, take a moment to prayerfully ask God to reveal Himself to you. After you do, you’ll be surprised with how quickly He responds.

A second key component to focusing on God is studying His Word. Not only does Scripture teach you to live in a way that is pleasing to God, but it also enables you to understand Him. A perfect way to start reading regularly is to use a devotional resource with quick, convenient readings and commentaries that are applicable to daily life. Pick up a devotional book or sign up to receive devotionals via e-mail (search online). Scroll through one with your morning coffee, read one in study hall, or stick one in your car or desk at work. Set a routine time for devotions each day. A few minutes is all it takes to refresh your thoughts and focus your heart and mind on God.

Prayer, another fundamental aspect of Christian life, is easily skipped over when you’re caught up in this, that, and the other thing. However, taking the time to pray throughout the day is fairly simple. One idea is to find a “prayer stone,” a bead, pebble, or any small object, and place it somewhere you see frequently. Every time you glance at your stone, stop and say a quick prayer. You can pray at any hour — God is omnipresent and hears you ‘round the clock. Say a brief prayer for strength when you wake up in the morning. Ask God to open your heart to help you better understand His Word before you do your devotions. Before you go to bed, take time to reflect on your day, pray for any needs, or just thank your Heavenly Father for your blessings. As with reading Scripture, praying draws you nearer to God and reveals more and more of His endless love and goodness.

Even though life can be hectic, at times even chaotic, keeping your mind trained on God whilst balancing a busy schedule is easier than you think. Daily devotionals, Scripture reading, and praying frequently are all easy ways to remain focused on God. As you spend more and more time with Him, He will become a part of your life and affect your words, thoughts, and actions without you consciously thinking about Him doing so. No longer will you go an entire day without thinking of Him once; you’ll soon see Him in everything!

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