Friday, March 11, 2011

Bill Gates might make a great Sunday School teacher...

Over the years, daily devotionals have been a struggled issue for yours truly. Not only do I understand the importance to me spiritually of spending a few minutes daily in God's word, I'm constantly reminding the young people at church how crucial that time is within their own spiritual walk.

So why is it sometimes such a struggle?

The paradox of free will is that the exercise of choice is very much separate from the state of intelligent, educated conscience. For example- I know that my post-40 physical being is much more fragile than my younger time-framed body, yet I continue to consume the traditional Southern foods known to be unhealthy for me (we deep-fry everything). My choice under free will despite the probable conclusions of medical consequence. Why?

I firmly believe we are creatures of habit. There's a good blog series on Psychology Today's website from a strictly secular viewpoint (of course) on the subject matter. Very insightful and very applicable to your spiritual life as well. It really boils down though to self-discipline, and spending time daily in a devotional is no different from spending time daily in prayer or reflection.

Still I struggle...

15 All this is for your benefit, so that the grace that is reaching more and more people may cause thanksgiving to overflow to the glory of God. 16 Therefore we do not lose heart. Though outwardly we are wasting away, yet inwardly we are being renewed day by day. 17 For our light and momentary troubles are achieving for us an eternal glory that far outweighs them all. 18 So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen, since what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal.   2 Corinthians 4:15-18 (New International Version)

Paul's letter to Corinth points to the treasure in jars of clay that God bestows upon us,  the light of knowledge that can only come from Him through Christ. I cannot lean upon my own understand to break free of old habits...I need God's help.

That may seem like a vicious circle going nowhere to some of you. It did to me at a point in my own life until I let the arrogance associated with my own knowledge be humbled by the true power of an almighty God. I began to pray for strength, humility and perseverance...and God answered. Believe me, it wasn't the answer I was expecting (or even wanted), but I did get an answer.

So how do I tackle the daily devotional issue today? I touched on my efforts a few weeks back in a post about the creative ways I spend time with God daily. I spend a lot of time each day, seven days a week, in front of my computer's screen. What better place to incorporate my spiritual disciplines into my daily routine. Praying and spending time with God daily wasn't a problem for me, but I would often forget prayer request from others (a matter I take very serious) and then there were daily devotionals.

Low and behold...the Age of Information (per God) provided! Now I keep a couple of widget on my desktop that I see each and every day. One is a constantly changing prayer list I can update from my Blackberry any time, any where, and the other is a widget from Bible Gateway that updates to a new Scripture daily. Another prayer answered!   

Of course, it's still up to me to spend a few minutes reflecting on the verse(s) and applying them to my own real life situations...but the widget has made it so easy to get started, I feel guilty when I don't follow through. That habit thing works both ways you know...  




David-FireAndGrace said...

Well, maybe should try that. Oh right, we can't have any software on our work PC's. Maybe at the the new job!

Tracy said...

Ha! Your titles always make me laugh. It's cool to read your desire, and creativity to find ways, to put the Word into your heart and life.