I’m reading a Chronological plan of the Bible. Too many times it’s easy to just skim the “boring” parts of the Old Testament and call it a day. Too many times I find myself “speed reading” to see how fast I can get through my section. Come to think of that, I do this in all areas of my life. I seek to have control and focus too much on trying to amass a list of accomplishments instead of enjoying each activity I’m doing.
To illustrate, this week I’ve been in Judges and the story of Gideon.
In Judges 8:22, the people ask Gideon to be their leader but Gideon rebuffs in verse 23:
But Gideon told them, “I will not rule over you, nor will my son rule over you. The Lord will rule over you.”
Too many times in our daily lives we’re ruled by our bosses or leaders. We let the actions of other “rule” us and our decisions. We focus on the here and now.
I know many days I’m ruled by food. I’ve had discussions with Samantha where a food decision set my mood for the rest of the day. I’ve had other days where we’ve eaten a food to “comfort” us after a stressful time. On these days food is my ruler.
I’ve had days where I’m ruled by my attitude. On Tuesday, I have an MBA class. I leave straight from work and normally don’t get home until 9:30pm. All day my attitude is based on this fact. I mope, I groan, I dread. When I get to class I stew that I’m sitting there and could be at home… sitting there. I’d most likely not be doing anything better with my time. It’s just the fact that I have to be at school, that I’m controlled by the commitment I’ve made.
Sometimes we’re ruled by our accomplishments. It could be many things. We rush through life to get to the end and say we’ve accomplished something. I like to read and we’ve made it a competition in our household to see who can read the most books. Of course I’m winning, I win at everything I do. But are we doing it all for just a number? I find myself “speed reading” through certain parts just because I want to get to the end. How dumb does it sound to say sometimes I enjoy the act of finishing a book more than the book itself?
I focus too much on trying to amass a list of accomplishments instead of enjoying what I’m now in.
All of these things scream earthly. All of these things are me trying to assert my control. All of these things are me being ruled by something outside of the one and only God. Our focus should daily, hourly, be on our heavenly Father. He wants it this way, he is the ultimate boss.
I’ll end with a quote from John Piper:
“It is sentences that change my life, not books. What changes my life is some new glimpse of truth, some powerful challenge, some resolution to a long-standing dilemma, and these usually come concentrated in a sentence or two. I do not remember 99% of what I read, but if the 1% of each book or article I do remember is a life-changing insight, then I don’t begrudge the 99%.”
This not only applies to books, but to life. We rush through life grasping for control. If we control 99% and give 1% to God, that will be the one percent that matters. When we give God control of everything, our 1% will be truly transformational in our life and to those around us.