I listen to KGNW (820AM) often. I heard a great sermon on the radio this morning by Charles Stanley. He was speaking on Philippians, and how Paul was an achiever and a conqueror for God. Stanley suggested that we often go through life passively, and not with a goal in mind. He showed how Paul had his goal of knowing Christ, pressing on in his life to know God and tell others about Him. Paul had a goal. One that we can have, too. Stanley also explained how in order to press on (move forward) we must forget what is behind. Forgive. Let go of the past. Not that we forget the lessons we learned, but that we don't hold onto anger, bitterness and resentment. Obviously, it is something we must do before we can press on.
Sometimes I think I have moved on with certain things. That I have forgiven. But, then, it seems to creep back. My mind will start remembering something, and almost get on a roll. And, before I know what's happening, I feel anger and resentment. I know it's about guarding my mind, and stopping those thoughts with God's help. But, when it happens, it makes me think that I haven't really forgiven. Maybe we have to forgive over and over until we have finally "forgotten what is behind?" Maybe I have forgiven, but I still remember? Is there a difference?
I was also thinking about the goal thing. The one goal of knowing God. In the past, I have allowed volunteering at church to usurp this goal. Thinking I was becoming a better Christian by "serving," I succumbed to the pressure and served too much. I did a lot for God, but all that doing amounted to losing the focus on being in a relationship with God. I've been in my new church for over a year, and I haven't yet "served" there. I honestly don't feel led to do so. It's kind of weird, but kind of good, because I know that God wants me to have the goal of knowing Him better. And, I know that once I am doing my part in pressing on with Him, He will show me how He wants to use me. Maybe it won't even be at the church - maybe it will be something else.
Obviously, my kids are the primary ministry that is always before me, and I have many ways to improve the way I impart God to them. But, I am often undisciplined, and I want to change that. God is waiting for me every morning. He wants to be with me. He surely wants more than my short blurbs I give him throughout the day. Not that that's bad to pray short prayers throughout the day! But, I know that God has been asking me to be more intimate with Him. To steal away in the quiet. Alone. I've tried doing this at night, after kids are in bed. I just fall asleep. So, I think He wants me to come in the morning.
I'm not in the stage of life when I am mothering babies and toddlers anymore, when something like this is too high of an expectation, I think. I think moms have to cut themselves some breaks during that stage in life. But, now, I think I can do this - get up in the quiet of the morning and be with God. I need it. I need Him.