“As Christians, we carry an additional responsibility for checking our hearts against unhealthy obsessions: a very real threat of letting anything–even a good thing–preoccupy us to the point that it overshadows our relationship with the Lord.” from A Jane Austen Devotional
Typically, I have little trouble preparing myself for the day and getting where I need to be. So, it rankles me when unnecessary delays occur. A child unwilling to comply with a morning timeframe ignites me to take responsibility for his lack of action. I stand over him, prodding like a cattle driver. I switch from cajoling to demanding to consoling. All I want is to be on time for church. Isn’t that a good thing?
Not so if my timeframe is kin to “hasten[ing] after another god.” In my preoccupation to take responsibility for another’s lack of it, I did not read these words when they might have encouraged me. I read them a morning late when not only my relationship with the Lord was lax, but my relationship with my child suffered as well. We arrived to church on time, but my heart-effort was misplaced. Even as I instruct my son on valuing the time of others, I must value his needs as well. I need to allow time for him to learn his responsibility and let go of what I cannot and should not control. When minutes tick toward deadlines, I need to settle my heart and let God prompt my son to action. Only if I sense His prod, should I offer assistance. Sunday’s lessons are learned. Now it is Monday. Time to apply and comply.