Sunday, December 21, 2014

Quantity or Quality?

                It has been days since I have sat down and spent any time with the Lord. I am such a creature of habit that when I get out of my groove, I have a hard time coming back to it. But maybe that is the problem. Maybe my groove needs to be changed up; maybe my time with the Lord needs to become less routine and more spirit led. Let’s be honest, it is difficult to find time to spend with the Lord these days. The holiday’s are a time where we fill our day’s with shopping, Christmas
parties, baking, cooking and spending time with loved ones. Owning a pet care company, this just happens to also be our busiest time of year. People leaving for family homes out of state need someone to care for their pets. More and more calls are coming in for people needing our help. But still, in the back of my mind, there is this need, this desire to find time to get away. Away from the hustle and bustle, away from the Christmas carols, and Christmas crowds to find a place where I can just sit in the presence of my God.
                This morning as I sat down to pray, I began to spout off my list, you know the list- we all have one. It’s our “Lord I need this” list. Before anything else could come out, there came the list, the routine of it all, spilling off of my lips. I have not spent any time with Him in His Word or in prayer these past few days, and the first thing I do is come to Him with my list for the day. This bothered me. Why? Because deep down inside I know that what He desires most is me- just me. He desires that I break away from the routine of this life and just come before Him in humble praise. He desires to hold me, to be near me and to tell me of His great love. He desires for me to spend some quality time with Him, not just quantity time.
Most of us who have children know that spending quality time with someone is much more important than the amount of time we spend with them.  As a parent we strive to spend quality time with our children by making memories. One of the memories I remember with my mom is one that I have passed onto my daughter. Every year while baking Christmas cookies my mom would put on her old Christmas LP’s and we would dance and sing in the kitchen. This was one of those quality time moments that I have never forgotten, and will never forget. When my daughter was a child, I too would put on my “iTunes” and my daughter and I would dance and sing and bake Christmas goodies together. Still to this day it is the one thing my daughter makes sure we do every year, even though she is moved out and living her own life, that quality time we spent together is something she wants to repeat year after year.
                It wasn’t about the amount of time my mom spent with me, or me with my daughter, it was the quality of the time that we spent doing something together. The amount of time we spend with our heavenly Father means nothing if there is no quality to it. I can sit with my Bible in my lap for twenty hours, but unless I see the quality of time spent with Him, all I have managed to do is sit still for twenty hours. That is what I believe the Lord wants to show me this day. It’s not the amount of time I spend with Him, it’s not the particular hours of the day that I spend with Him; it’s the heart’s desire to spend that time with Him. If my heart is not in it, then all I am doing is giving Him my
quantity, when He wants to give me quality. I think that is the danger of our routines when it comes to our devotion and prayer times. We can get caught up into a routine. Instead of spending that quality time, we end up just giving Him our quantity of time.
                For years I have had a routine of getting up in the morning, praying, reading, studying and writing every single morning. These past few months have been difficult to do that. I have been called to do something in the morning, and haven’t been able to spend that time that I have always had with Him. Over and over again I find myself filling that spot in my day with something other than His Word. As I was praying this morning and asking the Lord to forgive me for all the things that have gotten in the way of our morning time together, I was reminded of a passage of scripture, and was reminded that no matter what time I spend with Him, it’s not about the quantity, it’s about the quality.
                “Through the Lord’s mercies we are not consumed, because His compassions fail not. They are new every morning; Great is Your faithfulness.” Jeremiah 3:22-23
                It is because He is merciful that we are not consumed with the hustle and bustle of this life. It is because His compassion for us never wavers that we are able to come back to that place of quiet and spend that quality time with Him that we so desperately long for. His mercy, His compassion, His love, His grace, is new every single morning. With the rising of the sun we are given another chance to set aside the routine of our life and spend quality time with our God. Yes, Lord, Great is Your faithfulness. It is not about when I spend time with Him, it is why I spend time with Him. The quality time that He desires to have with us is not our scheduled time. It is those special moments, those precious moments that we see His faithfulness, or we feel His embrace. Those moments when we hear His voice, those moments that He makes Himself so known to us that we are struck down in wonder and awe. It is those moments that we never forget, and we come back to every time we drift away.
                We all have those precious moments. Those times when God our Father reached down from heaven and gave us a moment that we will never forget, that moment that we know, that we know, that we know God was present, filling that time with Himself; turning the quantity of that day into one of quality. Even though my days have been filled with anything and everything else but His Word at my regularly scheduled time, and the routine that I once had is hard to get back. I do not have to fret or worry, or become down on myself. Because, it is not about the amount of time I spend with Him, it is about those quality times. Those moments when it was, without a doubt, just Him and me, making memories that will last an eternity.

                I don’t know if you are struggling like I am this holiday season with finding that time to be alone with our God, but if you are, I pray that you are encouraged to see the importance of quality time verses quantity time. It’s not about the routine, it’s about those special moments, those precious memories that He has given to you and to me. When the hustle and bustle of this holiday season overwhelms you remember those moments, those quality times that you had with your God and remember above all that Great is His faithfulness. He desires to give you quality, let us not just give Him quantity. Amen?