“I want to turn the internets off, so it won’t take so long,” my four-year-old said one afternoon as we walked back to the house from checking the mail. I chuckled, knowing exactly what he was getting at.
“I will turn the internets off,” he continued. “That will make me happy! Ha, ha, ha, ha! I really can turn them off. That will be good. You won’t spend time on them. Ah-ha, ha, ha, ha!”
This adorable diabolical scheming is a pretty precious view into the heart of my child–helping me to see what he sees when mama checks out of the living room and into cyberspace.
With that scenario playing in my mind, the reading in My Utmost for His Highest this morning was quite convicting. Here is an excerpt:
Do you have anything to hide from God? If you do, then let God search you with His light. If there is any sin in your life, don’t just admit it, confess it. Are you willing to obey your Lord and Master, whatever the humiliation to your right to yourself may be?
Never disregard a conviction that the Holy Spirit brings to you. If it is important enough for the Spirit of God to bring it to your mind, it is the very thing He is detecting in you. You were looking for something big to give up, while God is telling you of some tiny thing that must go. But behind that tiny thing lies the stronghold of obstinacy, and you say, “I will not give up my right to myself”–the very thing God intends you to give up if you are to be a disciple of Jesus Christ.
Lately my greatest claim to myself has been my own self-determination. I get very frustrated when my plans are foiled, and I spend my time according to my whims and pleasures–rather than according to my responsibilities and divinely-appointed interruptions, which are the clear will of God for my days. Instead of serving my husband and children, or producing something useful or edifying for others, I flit time away online or just twiddling my thumbs, being nothing but a busybody–finding some skewed sense of urgency, importance, and needfulness in what I am doing when I am really accomplishing nothing but my own entertainment and self-indulgence.
Thinking that my time is my own is part and parcel to thinking my life is my own, only I deceive myself into thinking otherwise.
O God, please help me to number my days, that I may present to You a heart of wisdom, to be careful how to walk, not as unwise, but as wise, making the most of my time, which You have allotted to me, because the days are evil. And may I do all of this knowing that I am not my own, I have been bought with a price–with the precious blood of Christ–set apart to live every moment for Your glory, accomplishing the works You have prepared for me.
As I was writing all of this down in my journal, the boys were listening to the Jesus Storybook Bible. As it told the story of Jesus’ and His disciples’ last evening together in the upper room, there is a supposed conversation going on about the fact that no one had washed their feet:
…Someone had to wash away the dirt, but it was a dreadful job. Who on earth would ever dream of volunteering to do it? Only the lowliest servant.
‘I’m not the servant!’ Peter said.
‘Nor and I!’ said Matthew.
Quietly, Jesus got up from the table, took off his robe, picked up a basin of water, knelt down, and started to wash his friends’ feet…
Hearing voiced the loud and proud objections so common to my own heart, “I’m not the servant!” and then imagining the quiet humility of Jesus in contrast about brought me to tears.
My life is not my own. My time is not my own.
May God break down that “stronghold of obstinacy” within me.
May I learn to be a servant. May I learn to be like Jesus.