“I went past the field of a sluggard, past the vineyard of someone who has no sense, thorns had come up everywhere, the ground was covered with weeds, and the stone wall was in ruins.” Proverbs 24:30-31
Let’s just move past the word “field” and the word “vineyard”. I don’t own a field or a vineyard. If only I could tiptoe past the words “thorns” and “weeds”. I do own a garden and those two words describe the state of it really well. My husband would love to replace the badly mowed grass, and the weed infested borders with gravel, but I resist, and he is too scared of me to press his case!
Snow is a great leveller when it comes to gardens. My next door neighbours, on both sides of the house, have immaculate gardens. The lawns are well manicured, the borders filled with a harmonious range of perennials and not a weed in sight. With the snow covering everything, who is to know what lurks under six inches of snow? Mowed lawns and neat edges there may be BUT it’s all hidden under the snow. At last, my garden is on an equal par with theirs!
In the physical world, I may not own a field or a vineyard – but what about in the spiritual world? Fields and vineyards perhaps equate to ministries or even just our daily walk with God.
I was aware as I went to bed last night that as well as being physically tired (I am sure that I have a very switched on hibernation gene!), I was also feeling weary of heart
One of the effects of being snowed upon is that it takes a little longer in the morning to de-ice and warm up the car. I am leaving the house a little earlier than usual. It’s not just iced up cars, but iced up roads. I am trundling along very slowly.
There is a missing fifteen minutes to my morning routine, and my quiet time is suffering. I am a morning person. That is when I am at my most receptive, my most creative and my most energetic. As much as I try to catch up after school with quiet times, the connection isn’t always great.
As I drifted off to sleep, God’s spoke.
“If the late afternoon or evening isn’t working for you, why not get up fifteen minutes earlier than usual to make up the time?”
At this point the word “sluggard” comes to mind! The dictionary defines the word as “A self-indulgent person who spends time avoiding work or other useful activity.” I think the key word her for me is “useful”. I wouldn’t say that I avoid work but I don’t always do what is useful. “Self-indulgent”? Ouch!
It’s not just for my own benefit to feel connected to God, but I want to be able to share my vineyard harvest with other people. I want to be able to confidently declare what God has done for me, not just at the hour I asked Jesus to be my saviour, but on a day to day basis.
Of course, what I really need to remember is that I can connect with God in a variety of ways. My Bible reading routine can become – well, just that – a routine. I can start to get all legal about it and think that God and I are not connected if I don’t read my Bible! Truth is, there are more times than I can count when, even with the open Bible on my knee, I am feeling disconnected!
God will find ways to talk to me as long as I am open to listen. He is not looking for His fifteen minute slot in my day but wants the whole twenty four hours! I should not be finding ways to give him a fifteen minute slot, but open up my whole twenty four hours to Him - which may include a specific fifteen minute slot, earlier than usual for Bible reading.