It was easy enough to do. A single red grape in place of the wine and a tiny oyster cracker for the bread began to take their place beside whatever morning munchie I had placed on the napkin beside my coffee. I began by simply thanking God for the blessings of the day before. Then I’d review my actions of the previous twenty-four hours, examining myself before taking the bread or drinking the cup as the Bible instructs. Once the missteps were repented of and forgiveness received, I focused on the meaning of the emblems before me, the actions they symbolized, and the freedoms they purchased for me…as well as what they mean to my life today.
The difficult word in that sentence is focused. Too often I simply am not, and perhaps that was the point of this whole month-long exercise - to point out to me that my inattention to what I am doing deprives my actions of the power they might otherwise contain and keeps me from being as effective as I could be in whatever I undertake, whether that be the household chores on my ever-present to-do list, the demands of my job, or in developing the relationships with people around me.
One morning in particular I began my devotional time with a million other things on my mind. Sitting down at the table, I forgot to first check those thoughts at the kitchen door, and was soon munching down the communion emblems as causally as I normally do the Girl Scout Thin Mints they shared the napkin with!
Checked in my spirit, I got another set of emblems and began again. I remained attentive while eating the bread, but my mind was already wandering again by the time I got to the grape!
Stop! Backup! Refocus. Begin again. These are the words that are currently making a difference, not just in my devotional times, but in all that I do.
Twice recently I’ve heard people speak of the ability to “live in the moment”, being fully involved in whatever activity they are currently undertaking. Too easily do I pass through my life only vaguely aware at times of what is going on around me, so distracted am I by thoughts on what I need to do next or what activity is just around the corner, waiting for my input. The increasingly hectic lifestyles we live today feed into our distraction and actually rob our lives of the intensity each moment should contain. Yet we’re not here to live a purposeless existence. We each have a destiny to fulfill, a reason we’re here. If our communion is casual with Him, it’s likely to be that way with everybody else…and God knows there is simply too much at stake in the short time we have left to live any way except fully involved in however moments and interactions with His people we may have left.
“Whatever your hand finds to do, do it with all your might…”
(Ecclesiastes 9:10 MKJV)
(Ecclesiastes 9:10 MKJV)