A Little Summer Challenge
by Joy Martin, Set Me Free Ministries Co-founder
It’s official. Summer has arrived. And in Nebraska, at least, it’s here in full force—hot and sticky, just the way I don’t like it. And, inevitably, along with summer comes many changes. The weather changes, schedules change, activities change, even attitudes seem to change.
As a mom, sometimes it’s all I can do to just keep up with the changes. Forget about adding anything to my plate. I’m lucky if I manage to stay afloat with the things that aren’t optional. (Please tell me I’m not the only one with this problem!)
However, this summer, I’m not letting myself off that easy. No, this summer I’m taking on a few changes of my own—by choice. This summer I’ve decided to re-evaluate my health—physical, mental, financial, and, most importantly, spiritual. I won’t bore you with the details, but I’ve come to a place where I’m fed up with laziness in every sense of the word, and I’ve resolved to do something about it. I’ve realized that it’s no longer okay to complain about things that I have chosen to do nothing about. (Not that it ever was okay to complain about those things, mind you.) And believe me when I say that I’ve done my fair share of complaining.
While I believe with all of my heart that each and every change I am making is necessary for me to be the best wife, mom, sister, daughter, friend, and ministry leader I can be, there is one that outweighs the others by leaps and bounds. And that, my friends, is my commitment to stay in the Word—not just once in awhile, not just when I feel like I have time, but each and every day.
At one of my MOPS meetings this year, the speaker shared an illustration with us that fascinated me. And although I may not do it justice in print, I think the point it made is too valuable not to share. As the speaker addressed the group, she held up a glass jar and filled it with sugar, which represented all of our responsibilities—working, parenting, cooking, cleaning, and whatever else you have on your plate. Next she held up a basket of chocolates, which represented nuggets of time spent with God—devotions, prayer, church, etc. After her jar was filled with the sugar, or life’s daily tasks, there simply wasn’t room left for all of the chocolates, or nuggets of time with God. No matter how hard she tried, she couldn’t get all of those amazing nuggets inside the jar.
After emptying the jar, she started over. This time, however, she started off by filling the jar with the chocolates—all of those amazing nuggets of time that God wants to spend with us. And then it was time to add the sugar. Now, at first glance, the jar appeared full. The chocolates filled the jar to the brim, seemingly leaving no room for all of life’s daily tasks. But as the speaker began to pour the sugar into the jar, an amazing thing happened—every grain fit.
The lesson is this—if we set our priorities straight, everything else will fall into place. I truly believe that moving my time with God to the top of my to-do list is going to change my life in ways I can’t imagine, because I believe God will honor my commitment to Him.
So, in the spirit of summer, I’m going to challenge you to join me in making a change of your own. Will join me in re-evaluating your spiritual health this summer? Start a journey of your own and make the commitment to push your time in the Word up to the top of your to-do list. If you’re up to the challenge, drop us a note and let us know. We’d love to hear from you. And with that, I say, “Bring on the change!”