I knew it was coming…. most kids start this phase in elementary school… but now the question had come up in our household.
Jack had asked for a pet fish… his OWN pet that he would take care of and love. Not an abnormal request, but one we wanted to turn into a learning opportunity. So we made a deal with Jack. If he could make his bed (neatly) for one month every day without being asked or at least not arguing about it, he could have a fish. We explained that this would show us he could be responsible for something in his room. I was excited because maybe this would help him finally master this chore that never seems to get done without a fight.
At first he didn’t do it without being reminded and putting up a fuss. Then he just didn’t want to. But then yesterday I walked by his room before the kids left for school and his bed was MADE! Not just a made bed…. corners perfectly pulled tight, no wrinkles, pillows and stuffed animal arranged neatly, etc! I was in awe! Of course I praised him for the job well done and told him that this was a good start on the way to getting his fish.
Then today…. no attempt made and his bed was left in a messy heap of sheets on top of the mattress. When I asked him if he was going to make his bed he said, “But yesterday I did it SO GOOD that I thought I earned it by just doing it once?!” He truly believed that one day of making his bed perfectly would make up for not doing it the rest of the month.
Isn’t that like so many of us with our daily walk with God?!
“I served at church Sunday, took notes throughout the sermon, and gave above my tithe! God will understand if I can’t get into the Word this week or forget to pray daily.”
Monday morning: The sermon notes are still shoved in my purse, laundry and cleaning had become a priority that morning because of a school obligation I had that afternoon so my Bible study will just have to wait. I say a quick prayer in the car but it’s just a request for my day to go smoothly. By the time I hit the pillow at night I’m so tired that I just tell God “goodnight and that I will talk to Him tomorrow.”
Sometimes we can do really good one day and think that it can make up for the other days we miss. While God doesn’t demand perfection, He does want us to give Him our time and efforts. Are we going to Hell because we missed Bible study or forgot to take time to pray that day? No. But we may be cheating ourselves of a more abundant life (or day).
What if God had a Word for you that morning that would have started your day off by calming your soul down? Maybe you wouldn’t have been so anxious about getting things done. Maybe He would have given you the words when you encountered a new classroom mom at school today who just needed a friend. Maybe God just needed your attention to remind you about how much He loves you.
2 Corinthians 8:11 New International Version (NIV) says, “Now finish the work, so that your eager willingness to do it may be matched by your completion of it, according to your means.”
But I love the translation in the Message….
2 Corinthians 8:11-20 The Message (MSG)
“So here’s what I think: The best thing you can do right now is to finish what you started last year and not let those good intentions grow stale. Your heart’s been in the right place all along. You’ve got what it takes to finish it up, so go to it. Once the commitment is clear, you do what you can, not what you can’t. The heart regulates the hands….”
I recently started prioritizing my morning time with God by watching Joyce Meyers on TBN (I DVR it) and listening to a 20 minute teaching where I get to dive in the word. I have tried doing morning devotionals and Bible study, but I just couldn’t get committed to it. I also realize I learn best by seeing and hearing something — so watching a live teaching always does more for me.
At first it was a mind shift that I was going to commit to this and get it done no matter what. But now I WANT to do it and look forward to it. Now my HEART has shifted….. and God is rewarding me for it by giving me a fresh perspective every morning focusing on Him.
Are you going to put in the work daily and enjoy the abundance in life God has to offer? Or are you going to put in one or two days a week to check it off your list in hopes of getting God’s reward?