I keep a planner and write everything down that needs to be done. When I write out my schedule it looks something like this:
- Work 7:15 to 3
- Gym (1.5 hrs.)
- Dinner with friends @5
- Small group study @6:30
- Do Laundry
- Complete final paper for class
- Write an article for blog
- Play some video games?? (if time allows)
This is just an example of course. Either way, my planner typically looks like this. The only things that typically vary are events and obligations. Well…that, and sometimes I don’t always faithfully go to the gym (actually, to be honest, the gym is rarely on my to-do list even though it should be).
Oh, one other thing that varies is Sunday. On Sunday I have a little time block for Church when I will think about Jesus for about an hour before I get back to the everyday buzz of the rest of my life.
Probably you can tell that based on my last statement I am trying to make a point. Sometimes people have a tendency to compartmentalize things. Christians, without thinking, may put Christ in one compartment of their life while everything else is organized into other separate compartments. I acquired some great knowledge on holistic spirituality during my graduate studies, and I will share some of my previous writing on the topic here.
When Christians compartmentalize their faith, devotional spirituality and disciplined spirituality become something that Christians just “do.” Instead of faith in Christ defining and directing life, it is simply penciled in on the calendar….and usually it is only penciled in on the Sunday morning slot.
Christ is at the center of all of God’s plans for us. It is through Christ’s sacrifice we can come back to our creator. It is through Christ’s lordship that all things come together and His will for us becomes fulfilled. Christ should then also be at the center of each Christian’s life.
HOW TO GIVE UP THE THRONE:
Let’s face it, it isn’t always easy to take ourselves off the throne of our own lives and allow Christ to take that spot. Despite this, there are practices that help allow Christ to encompass every part of the day. This is done by building connections between faith and everyday activity.
Reflection upon God and faith are not meant to be limited to the times we go to church or practice devotions. It can and should pertain to every single thing done regarding every single thing God has provided. This includes opportunity, education, families, relationships, finances, jobs, even things as mundane as washing the dishes.
THE BRILLIANCE FOUND IN PULLING WEEDS:
One powerful means by which Christ can be kept at the center is to perceive the splendor in the commonplace. By this I mean, seeing each opportunity in life as an opportunity to give God glory. This also has positive effects because it brings a whole new energy and vigor to everything that is being done in normally mundane circumstances.
I remember once when I was helping my family out with some yard work. It was the usual type of drudgery—pulling weeds and spreading wood chips. I had been stooped over all day in the hot sun yanking those little, green invaders from the family garden.
When that was about done, I remember my dad pulling up with the truck. Upon seeing the entire truck bed filled to the brim with wood chips that needed to be unloaded, I let out a long, miserable sigh. But then a thought popped into my head, “unload those chips with gladness.”
So, simply put, that’s what I did. I just remembered how blessed I am and I thanked God by doing the job with good cheer. Don’t get me wrong, that just happens to be one success story where I truly experienced the benefits of having an integrated life. That isn’t always the case with me. Sometimes I forget who should be on the throne of my life.
The point is, daily experiences, whether big or small, can be opportunities to get to know God better and to glorify Him. Just as the Bible says, “So whether you eat or drink or whatever you do, do it all for the glory of God,” (1 Cor. 10:31, NIV).
BEING A GOOD STEWARD:
Finally, another powerful way to keep Christ in the center of life is the discipline of being a good steward. A steward is someone who manages or looks after property that isn’t theirs.
Everything belongs to God. Every moment in life is borrowed time. Money, relationships, education, opportunity, material possession, etc. are all lent out to His children. These are precious things that have to be looked after with care and also should be used wisely.
With this knowledge, it is easier to take on a more humble mentality. When it becomes possible to view things as God’s possessions, this allows for a greater focus on Him as His resources are utilized and appreciated. This keeps God in the heart and mind as His property is managed and looked after.