I was driving The Inventor to a soccer tournament this morning at the coffee drinking hour of 6:30am! Sunday morning, and I am heading to a soccer tournament. Feeling guilty for missing church, I did as all good soccer christian moms do, I listened to our local christian music station on the way to the tourney. This song by Charlie Hall came on the radio, it’s called, “Center.” It speaks of Christ being the Center of our lives, the Center of ALL we do. So as I am frantically chugging coffee at 6:40 on an early Sunday morning, driving to a soccer game, I asked myself HOW can I make Christ the center of my life? Here I am missing church on Sunday mornings because of sports tournaments. I am so busy…constantly. Is Jesus really the Center of my life? It’s a good question to ponder, and I thought I would throw it out there to all of you fine friends. How do you make Jesus the Center of your life? How do you balance time with the Lord and time living in this world? What works for you?
Center- Charlie Hall
Great post. I have to say that I have been struggling with this for more than a year. Our church had a split and because of some of the changes, our family left. I don’t know what it is but I just haven’t been the same. I KNOW I am not living with Jesus in the center of my life right now. To be honest, I think we are barely on speaking terms – with me being the silent one. I just can’t seem to get things back on track. I was just thinking about this this morning before stopping by and reading this post.
First of all, Jesus knows you heart and how you are longing for Him!!!
Second, it is difficult to live in this world and not have our time pulled by it.
I had been really missing my devoted time with Jesus. By devoted time I mean, just hanging out with Him, talking, singing, dancing, reading His word, interceding…whatever He leads me to do.
I receive Chuck Peirce’s e-mails and he has encouraged praying during the fourth watch (3 am-6am). He even has a prayer directive to get one started. My flesh desires to sleep, but so far I have been spending at least an hour of that time.
I do prefer to go to a local church and hang out in their sanctuary, but that’s not working right now because of everything going on with Mom.
Please pray for Fire and school. I have been attempting to get school finished with him in the morning (at least the stuff he has to do with me) and going with Dad in the afternoons to the hospital. Fire told me this morning that he feels it is negatively affecting his school work and I agree. I caught between my responsibilities. I need wisdom!!!
Such a hard thing to do without turning into a leglistic Pharisee. We are freed from the law of Sundays, but I get really aggravated with the total disregard that sports organizations have for it. And I think they would stop if everyone woud stop attending. (That’s just a blanket statement, not a comment on what you should or shouldn’t have done yesterday.)
If our kids or husband is the center of our lives, as they often are but shouldn’t be, it means our live revolves around them. All of our activities, thoughts, and actions are focused on them. We do things for them just because we want to and delight in it, not out of obligation. We would rather be with them than anyone else. We will even ignore our own needs & desire (sleep, food, self-focused activities) to see that they get the very best. And the motivation? Love. We aren’t motivated by the DESIRE to make them the center of our lives; we make them the center of our lives because we love them so much that no other demands on our time are as attractive or tempting as what we spend doing with/for them.
So substitute God for our family, and I think that’s what it would be.
And it’s far, far, far easier to type than to do. Because we are often scared to love Him that much.
Well, in order not to be legalistic, let me say that spending time with Jesus is dfferent for each of us. I am currently reading Sacred Pathways by Gary Thomas and it has freed me from so much guilt about the way I used to perceive “time with the Lord”. I recommend this book for you. It is excellent resource for those of us with busy lives or for those of us who don’t do the “Read 3 chapters of the Bible every day and pray for one solid hour”. This was excellent post.
We are all busy if we are honest. but in our busy-ness we need to be asking the Lord if what we are doing is really what HE wants us to be doing at that season/moment/time.
This way of living has really freed me up. And I no longer feel guilty to saying NO to certain ministries or activities and I no longer feel guilty for saying Yes to others. I have written about similar things on my blog…feel free to visit!
Thanks for your insight so far ladies!
I agree with all of you said, that going to church is not to be a legalistic, “Thou must attend church” kind of thing. It is certainly a heart matter. And just as Linda said, it’s so frustrating to see how sports have taken over Sunday mornings. I know I have read several of Faith’s posts recently about enjoying devotions in a meaningful time for where you are at. Like for me I have the best devotions when I am outside walking.
And Linda is so right about the priority of family……..if I put God in that spot what a difference that would make…..but it is hard.
I guess it’s nice to know that others have the similar struggles that I have. 🙂 And Beautiful Grace is so right when she said, “it is difficult to live in this world and not have our time pulled by it.”
It’s encouraging to know I’m not alone in juggling life’s demands. We all know gathering with other believers is important. It’s where we get our encouragement, our accountability, and sometimes our best advice. It’s also where we give those things to others.
But just because we miss church on a Sunday doesn’t mean we can’t seek to do those things as opportunities present themselves. It also doesn’t necessarily mean that we aren’t putting Christ first. In fact, I’ve known families who will, on occasion, take a total break–even from church–to spend some family time refocusing on what’s important. Sometimes they will go to the beach and have a special prayer time. Sometimes, they will have a special family sharing time enroute to a totally frivoulous event. And that’s O.K., I think.
Here’s why, and I think you all have said the same things. Making Christ the center is so much more than going to church. Its a daily and personal struggle, really. 1 Thessalonians 5:16 is one of my favorite verses. Paul tells us to “Be joyful always; pray continually; give thanks in all circumstances, for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.” It’s the praying continually that I strive for in my constant effort to make my heart Christ-centered. Not the down on my knees kind (though I need to be better at including that), but the rushing out the door kind. And the driving down the road kind. And the sitting at the soccer game kind. Even the doing up the dishes kind. It’s including Him in what you’re doing, while you’re doing it, where ever you may be. Its putting Proverbs 3:6 to task, where it says, “in all your ways acknowledge Him and He will make your paths straight.” Opportunities for being about His business are everywhere, not just in church. 🙂
Thanks for the great discussion, and all the encouragement, ladies!
SAmmie Sue………….I LIKE what K has to say above. She is right, you know. You can be with Jesus while you are sitting on the sidelines at the game. I DO think you and Curt are wise putting church and sports in the forefront of your kids’ lives. They will benefit later! Keep on Keeping on, daughter! I am praying for you!
All my love, and His blessings,
I totally agree with K and that was going to be my answer. I am always thinking about Christ, what would He do, did I act like He would….. I am praying so much these days, especially with this election. And I am going to keep communicating with my Heavenly Father because I too have had hockey and soccer on Sunday and feel so guilty at “Sideline Assembly” but I think He understands. Or it could be we feel this way because He is convicting us???