Hi everyone. Rob here. Well, summer holidays have come to an end. School’s back for most, work is in full swing and that means a return to familiar routines, commitments
and busyness. It is a dangerous time for our hearts. Mornings become dedicated to ‘getting the kids ready’. Evenings are about ‘getting the kids to bed on time’. Weekends can become filled with the jobs that you didn’t have time for during the week. Before too long we can lose intimacy with our spouses and with God. Being single or without kids is no cure either as time simply gets filled with other distractions. Proverbs 4:23 gives us this warning: “Above all else, guard your heart, for it is the wellspring of life (NIV).” How do we do that? How do we prevent routines from becoming ruts and busyness becoming burnout? Let me share a few things that I’m working on that are helping me and I’d love it if you would share some things that are helping you.
1. Getting up well. I’m not a morning person and when my alarm goes off (that is, my kids get up!) my instinct is to pull the covers over my head and pretend that it’s not happening! Reality can’t be denied forever though, so now I take the time to tune my mind and my heart to God before I get out of bed. I hand the day over to God as I go through in my mind the responsibilities of the day. I ask for protection and the ability to represent Christ well to every person I encounter – including my wife and children! This practice of being still before God at the very start of the day has helped me tremendously.
2. Thankfulness. I am blessed with a beautiful family, good home, meaningful work and a friendship with Jesus. I don’t stop and say thank you enough but I do it more than I used to. It protects me from envy, resentment, greed and a whole lot of other nasties. ‘Thank you Jesus’ is becoming a regular part of my vocabulary.
3. Worship. One of the dangers of busy activity is that it gives us the impression that life is all about us and is centred around us: what we say, do and think. Worship reminds us that God is God and he is good. Jesus is our Lord and the Spirit is our strength. Replay a worship song in your head. When you are blessed, give God the credit. When you see something amazing, give God the glory. For me, it’s often just pausing and saying, “I love you Jesus.” It really helps, trust me.
4. Play. Playing with my kids has been a real gift to me, but it’s so easy to say ‘later’ or ‘not right now.’ When I say yes, I find myself slowing down, laughing and experiencing deep joy. My kids love me more and I become more deeply connected to their hearts. It’s a win-win. If you don’t have kids, borrow some! Teach Sunday School or engage more with your friend’s children. When you get the voices of children into your life it gives you much better perspective. Remember, Jesus did this!
So there’s my short list of helpful things for my heart. What are yours? Please add your comments below. It will be good to hear from you.