I love to observe people. I like watching their actions and reactions and try to understand why they acted or reacted to certain situations. Recently, I have been alarmed at the discontentment people are experiencing. We are surrounded with many comforts, but I see unhappy, unthankful, and unsatisfied people who have everything and everyone around them.
I now can talk to my grandchildren in the same way my grandparents answered my questions about the “olden days.” When my grandmother talked about life without cars, it was hard to imagine. When I tell my grandchildren about life without air conditioning, internet, cell phones, and social media, it is hard for them to fathom. I laugh when they ask me how we listened to music without iTunes.
With all our modern conveniences, one would think that life would be less complicated and exhausting. However, many times we are so consumed with technology that it becomes a hindrance rather than a help to our well-being.
I get concerned with children when I see them so dominated by their phones and other media devices. This month most families have established a routine. Vacations are over, and school has begun. I know that life is busy and scheduling becomes a problem. It is easy to become frustrated and exhausted and decide that life is not what you imagined it to be.
I encourage you to take the time to evaluate your schedule. If you have a family, reevaluate your children’s priorities as well. You cannot recapture the years you are spending (or not spending) with your children or spouse. Life is short. Time goes by too fast. There is no replay or rewind. You must enjoy every moment as it comes to you.
I was often told as a child, “Only one life ’twill soon be past; only what’s done for Christ will last. To me to live is Christ.” I am glad my parents always emphasized the importance of placing God first in my life. To go or not go to church was never an option. It was never are we going; it was always what time do we leave. I am grateful that principle was instilled in me, and I have passed it on to my children and grandchildren.
Recently my youngest grandson, Wesley, asked his mother why I was upset. Denise told him, “Son, it’s about going to church.” Emphatically Wesley said, “You don’t tell NaNa that you’re not going to church!” I laughed because Wesley knows how I feel about church attendance.
I would encourage you to make church a priority in spite of your busy schedule. The writer of Hebrews gives us excellent advice for the days we are living in. “Let’s keep a firm grip on the promises that keep us going. He always keeps his word. Let’s see how inventive we can be in encouraging love and helping out, not avoiding worshiping together as some do but spurring each other on, especially as we see the big Day approaching” (Heb. 10:23–25 MSG).
We are living in the last days and need to hear from God more than ever before. Church is a place that puts us in an atmosphere to hear from Him. In life, there are so many voices speaking to us that it is often difficult to distinguish the voice of the Holy Spirit. But church is where you can be quiet before the Lord and recognize His voice.
I remember one Wednesday evening I was tempted to stay home from church. I was tired and not feeling well. I didn’t want to face people and be expected to smile. My upbringing would not let me stay home. As I was sitting in church, it seemed that although no one in leadership knew my thoughts, the entire service had been orchestrated by the Holy Spirit to minister to me.
Every worship song spoke directly to my heart. Even one of the associate pastors gave a word of prophecy during the announcements that ministered to my need. My husband preached a sermon that lifted me up and answered my questions. And best of all, my body was healed by the power of God.
I went away from church healed, whole, strengthened, and renewed. What a blessing I would have missed had I given in to my natural desires. I encourage you to allow God to be the center of your life and home and honor Him by regularly attending church.
"The Lord will guide you always; he will satisfy your needs in a sun-scorched land and will strengthen your frame. You will be like a well-watered garden, like a spring whose waters never fail."
—Isaiah 58:11 (NIV)
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