I love the newness and beauty of a new year, reflecting on the past and assigning vision to the next. In what moments in the last year have I been intentional? In what moments did I miss the mark? Did I recognize the moments and lean into where God was calling me, or could I have dug deeper?
My call to action and word for this year is simple. “Live.” And more specifically, how the word “live” is defined by each moment. We don’t know how many moments we have ahead of us, but the beauty and challenge lie in how we live each of those moments. Are our moments bringing honor to God? Are our moments representative of our hearts and the heart of God? Are our moments purposeful, or are we wasting them, even if unintentionally?
I started feeling challenged when I noticed that instead of being intentional with my time, I would arbitrarily reach for my phone or the television remote. And before I knew it, boom, a precious hour (or two) would pass with me focused on ads for things I don’t need—or a new show that I’ll binge, dedicating hours of my life for the consumption of something that’s spiritually bereft.
We don’t know how many moments we have ahead of us, but the beauty and challenge lie in how we live each of those moments.
But what about all those apps that are supposed to help us simplify our lives? I have apps for my apps: apps that help me stay focused, eat healthy, read my Bible, get me blindly from A to B on the road, avoid traffic, keep up with friends, shop for groceries, explore workouts, find recipes, and manage calendars to keep my family organized. I even have an app that tells me when to drink water and another that puts me to sleep. I am conditioned, people! As a result, I’m tired. I’m burned out.
Despite how these apps are designed to simplify, they are crutches, a way to hide the simple truth that I’m not in control of my life. Instead of relying and praising God in everything, I’m more often looking to a screen. I have lost my ability to just be. To sit in the quiet, to not need any information; just to be and be with him.
During our 21 days of prayer and fasting, I’m being convicted to minimize all screen time outside of work and basic, day-to-day familial needs. To monitor this, I’m analyzing my weekly screen time reminder. You know, the one we all get that tells you how much our screen time has increased or decreased from the prior week. In my down moments, in lieu of watching TV, my plan is to read the Bible, spend time with family, be in nature, pray more, and live more intentionally. I’m waiting to see what fruit will come from that redirection.
His heart for us is to draw closer, to dive into his love language of quality time, to serve others, to rest, and overall, to thrive in the moments and the atmospheres that he affords us.
In its most basic form, “to live” is to remain alive. Something we often say during difficult times is: “I’m just surviving.” But that’s not what we’re called to do. Surviving isn’t God’s heart or plan for us. His heart for us is to draw closer, to dive into his love language of quality time, to serve others, to rest, and overall, to thrive in the moments and the atmospheres that he affords us. He is where our joy is. For what a beautiful world we have been blessed to be a part of. From the stars to the sunsets, to the colors and the joy and blessing we experience—it was all designed in such a way because he loves us.
I plan to not miss a moment. I plan to live. I’m focusing on breaking the habit of reaching for the remote or the phone. I’m breaking the habit of losing mindless hours and not having anything to show for it. I’m choosing all my moments to be for God’s glory and to dig deeper into the sweetest relationship there is—my moments with my Father. These moments are so precious—a true gift. So, let’s honor them, cherish them, spend our limited moments intentionally, with the unlimited love of God.
- Lean into all God has for you as you spend intentional time with him during 21 Days of Prayer and Fasting. Prayer services are offered online or in person Monday through Thursday at 7:00am through January 22, 2023.
- How are you feeling challenged to “live?” Consider eliminating or minimizing something in your life and replacing it with prayer, worship, and reading God’s Word.