Thursday, February 5, 2009

A Day in the Life

I came across an old journal this morning, and I was reminded of this lesson God taught me about two years ago. It's one that I forget often. As a reminder to myself, I've decided to pass along this story to you...

September 19, 2007

This morning, I woke up in a panic. As you know, I’m a little crazy, and I work out really early in the morning. Well, on Wednesday mornings, I actually teach a class at the gym that starts at 5:30. Normally, I wake up 30 minutes before the class starts, and that gives me plenty of time to get awake and get to the gym. But when I woke up this morning, I didn’t see the :00 that I am used to seeing. I saw :18.

Needless to say, I wigged out. (Again, no surprise there. Interruptions to my routine are not welcome.) I jumped out of bed, threw on my gym clothes, ran to the bathroom, put my contacts in, put some Scope in my mouth that I assume I spit out at some point, but come to think of it...I might have swallowed it...and flew out the door. It was record speed for me, no doubt, but I was still going to be pushing it to get there on time.

I drove to the gym and immediately began praying upon getting in the car. You know the prayer drill that you go through when you’re late for something. “Please give me all green lights. Don’t let me run into any cops." Plus, there's my all-time favorite: "God, if there’s a front row parking spot, it won’t hurt my feelings." The entire time, I kept glancing at the clock, watching as :23 turned to :25. (You get the picture.)

I rolled into the gym (and into my front row parking spot, I might add) just as I watched the minute turn to :29. Puzzled, I ran into the gym. The parking lot sure was empty, and mid-week at that time of the day, the gym is usually already bumping. The 5 am crowd is hardcore. Seriously. They don't play any games. Usually when I get there ten minutes before my class, there’s already a line waiting to get in the door.

There wasn’t anyone at the front desk, but I went around to the back and got the key to the Cycle room. I walked (OK, OK, you’re right, I ran!) up the stairs, and found that there was no line. There was one lady on the treadmill and a few guys doing weights. Where was everyone??

I searched around for the nearest clock, and that was when I saw it.


Yeah, I got up and drove to the gym at midnight.

Now, in my defense, the security alarm at the house I am living at is acting up, and it beeped at 12:18…sounding very much like my alarm clock. But it was still very much a security alarm and not an alarm clock.

On the way home, (Yeah, I mean, I’m a fitness fanatic and all, but I DID have to come back to the gym and teach just 5 hours later. I was NOT going to stay and work out at 12:30.) I began making excuses much like the one above as to WHY I had done this:

"I didn't have time to double check the clock."

"I didn't feel any more tired than I normally do when my alarm goes off."

"It's just as dark at 5 am as it is at midnight."

"At least I wasn't late."

Etc., etc., etc.

Then, I began to get mad at myself. Why in the world did I not look at the hour and just focus on the minute? If I had just examined the clock a little closer, I would have saved myself a lot of stress, some gas in my car, and definitely gotten a little more sleep.

Before laying down to go back to sleep, I had a realization. I do the same thing in my Christian life.

How many times is what God really wants me to do right in front of my face, and I continue to ignore it? I focus on the details (just like I narrowed in on the minutes) rather than the big picture. I wonder if I'm sometimes too busy studying God at seminary to spend time with Him. Or if I'm more concerned with having enough food at a college event than I am making sure that every student who shows up get some love and attention.

Here's the big one though:

And just like the beeping security alarm sounded like my own alarm clock, do I listen to the wrong voice and mistaken it for God’s voice? Do I listen to the things that I WANT to hear God say rather than what He is actually saying?

I got up that morning again at the right time when my alarm went off. I taught my class, letting them laugh at me for what I had done at midnight. I listened to the right alarm, got up at the right time, and I was on time and prepared for the task ahead.

After getting back from the gym, I sat down to have my devotional time with God and read in Proverbs 19.

Proverbs 19:21 stood out. It says, "Many are the plans in the mind of a man, but it is the purpose of the Lord that will stand."

So here's our lesson: Let's not get so caught up in the craziness that we call life that we miss true Life and His purpose for us.

Aren't you glad that you didn't have to get up twice this morning to learn that? :)

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