I just got back from a wonderful vacation to the Norwegian fjords and, wow, what an amazing place for a person who connects with God through nature and photography!!! I was fascinated by the stark landscape created over tens of thousands of years. It was a visual demonstration that God can and does believe in slow but sure transformation, which is wonderful for this Type A person to hear. I want transformation done yesterday!
On the trip, in addition to the devotions I did with my camera, I read a book I had had for a while on my Kindle but had never really read, Confessions of a Prayer Slacker by Diane Moody. I think I had gotten it from BookBub at some point and decided to try it out while I was on vacation.
This book really convicted me that I leave God waiting when I choose to hit snooze, do email, browse Facebook, or clean something up before having my morning quiet time. I would never hit snooze if I knew I had a person waiting to have coffee with me, but I had never thought about leaving Jesus waiting when I shorten my quiet time to get a little more sleep. When I say I don’t have 5, 10, 15, 30, or even 60 minutes to meet with God first thing in the morning, but I can spend how much time doing whatever I am doing instead of intentionally spending time with God, I am prioritizing anything else over God. So I am committed to trying it out for a week and seeing how it impacts my daily life and connection with God!
This visualization really helped me. The author encouraged us to imagine a chair beside where we do our intentional morning quiet time and see Jesus sitting in it waiting for us. Would we be more intentional about showing up? While I read scripture and pray most days, this convicted me into trying to do it first thing in the morning and to spend part of that time journaling to feed my soul for the writing I need to do in ministry. (Sermons, teachings and this blog.) I wanted to do more blogging and be more intentional, so now I have this image of Jesus waiting to mull ideas over with me each morning. Pretty cool.
I know you can connect with God later in the day, but right now this is what God is asking me to do. That said, I think that all of us should regularly ask ourselves in what areas of our lives is Jesus waiting for us.
How about you? Where is Jesus waiting for you? Is he waiting for you to join him for coffee in the morning with your Bible? Is he waiting for you to join him in a service opportunity? Is he waiting for you to join him at church on a Sunday morning? Is he waiting for you to give up your bitterness and unforgiveness so that you can have healthier relationships with others? What do you KNOW that Jesus wants you to be doing with him that he is waiting patiently for you to join him?
While I found this book convicting and motivating for me to journal first thing in the morning for a week (or more!), the landscape in which I read it reminded me of God’s patience with me as I try to get my faith journey “right”. As I open different parts of myself for that transformation. I was reminded with each mile of gorgeous landscape that our God is patient and faithful and loving and will wait for me to get there!
But you, Lord, are a compassionate and gracious God, slow to anger, abounding in love and faithfulness. (Ps. 86:15, NIV)
Scroll down to see more photos from the trip! If you want to receive an email when I post a blog, click on the menu at the top right and sign up! Blessings!
Stappen Nature Preserve. If you look closely at small island in foreground you will see seals sleeping! The white lines in the lower rock just above seals are hundreds of large northern gannets.
White-tailed Sea Eagle
Juvenile sea eagles.
Puffin taking off!