25 July 2011

The Domino Effect

"You will seek me and find me
when you seek me with all your heart."
- Jeremiah 29:13

As kids, I think we all liked to play dominos.  In our family the traditional game of dominos took back seat to the challenge of gathering all of our blocks and standing them on end, in hope of being able to touch the first block and watch them knock each other over, all the way down the line.  I remember how frustrating it would be if someone bumped the table and all the dominos began to fall.  Back to square one!

We get up in the morning, check our schedules, plan out our every moment, plot each activity and our busy-ness begins.  But sometimes we try to line up too many things, over-committing ourselves, ignoring important things, or letting the tyranny of the urgent take hold… then, along comes a forgotten appointment  ("bump”), unexpected company (“bump”), or car trouble (“bump”).  Our dominos come tumbling down, chaos takes over, and our life becomes “messy.”  Chaos affects our family, our jobs, our physical being, our relationship with God and others.

Last week I made a statement that my “spiritual peace” is an area that still needs a lot of work.  So, I went back and re-read a blog I had written January 24, 2011 entitled “I Choose a Cloud of Dust Peace."  The following words caught my attention... “I think about Jesus’ life and how it portrayed the perfect balance.  He spent time talking to people, took care of the needs of others, gave instruction to the disciples, yet took time to go to his Father in prayer.  He sought God’s direction and was given great discernment for his tasks at hand.”  The answer to my “spiritual peace” was right before my eyes... A life of peace needs quiet time with God.  Jesus knew the importance of quiet time with God, but I had forgotten!  The busy-ness of my daily routine had caused my messy life to demand all of my attention and I lost touch with my only true source of strength.

So today I went searching on-line and found an article that offered tips on “how to spend quiet time with God.”  In the following excerpt, the writer describes three elements that need to be addressed:

An Area Free of Distraction – Each time Jesus wanted to spend time with His Father, He always retreated to a secluded area free from distractions. He could talk with God, and listen to Him as well. The same is true of us. Our quiet times with God should be in a place where we are alone with no TV or phone -- only God and us.

Prayer and Thanksgiving - Jesus’ prayers were not always for Himself, but for others. In our quiet time spent with God, we use Jesus’ example by offering prayers for others and thanksgiving to God for what He has done for us. These prayers should also include a time of reflection on how God has seen us through the good and bad times.

God’s Word - Just as our bodies need food to keep it going, we need to spend quality time with God to feed our souls. Jesus often quoted from God’s Word in His quiet times. Quiet time with God is also a time to read God’s Word. If we don’t understand a certain passage of Scripture, we can ask God to help us understand. It is through daily prayer and reading God’s Word that we will grow in our walk with God.

(Excerpt taken from http://www.allaboutprayer.org/how-to-spend-quiet-time-with-god-faq.htm)

The information above is nothing I hadn't  heard before, but sometimes we all need a reminder.  There is one additional step I need to take, to make the conscious effort to spend quiet time with God, I need to answer the following question: What activities are draining my spirit and stealing my quiet time with God?

I'm not sure what the answer is.  Could it be watching too much television?  Spending too much time on Facebook?  Doing nothing but worrying?  I think I need to pray to God and  ask Him to show me the answer. The Bible reminds us over and over again to “be still” and “seek the Lord”...

“The LORD will fight for you; you need only to be still."
- Exodus 14:14

"Seek the Lord and His strength… seek His face continually"
- Chronicles 16:10-11

“The LORD is my shepherd, I shall not be in want. He makes me
lie down in green pastures, he leads me beside quiet waters, he
restores my soul. He guides me in paths of righteousness for his
name's sake.” – Psalm 23:1-3

“Be still, and know that I am God; I will be exalted among the nations,
I will be exalted in the earth." - Psalm 46:10

One pastor said this about life being  like a domino effect, “Generally, how we begin our day will determine how our day will end.”  Think about it,  if we continue to start our day plotting out how to accomplish all of our busy-ness, we will most likely end our day feeling stressed, worried, frazzled, anxious, troubled and completely exhausted.  However, if we start our day in quiet time with God, praying for Him to direct our path, and turning all of our concerns over to Him, our stillness opens our hearts and allows God to speak words of guidance, wisdom, and direction throughout the day.  As a result, we can experience a day filled with blessings, joy and God's peace.

Scripture tells us that time spent with God brings joy to our lives. “Being still” quiets the chaos. And when we are obedient, we allow our minds to focus on God. This week I am going to lay my dominos out flat before the Lord. I will let Him build my day, block by block, according to His unique plan!

Peace, it’s all about the small steps on the journey!

Thanking God for each of you, as I keep you in my prayers.
God’s Peace, Donna Weaver

“Peace on the outside comes from
knowing God on the inside.”
- Author Unknown


Ms Laura said...

I love your messages Donna, especially this one. Thank you for sharing the real authentic you.

I heard something over the weekend, I'm not really sure where I was or what I was doing, but it was "What will you FIGHT for?" Ms Donna, I pray that we all FIGHT for time with JESUS, that we FIGHT for peace and stillness in our everyday lives, and that we FIGHT for spiritual wholeness. My friend, I too struggle here so please know that you are not alone. I think that sometimes we need to FIGHT for PEACE. The prize is so very worthwhile.....

Your sister in CHRIST,

Donna Weaver said...

Thank you so much for your encouraging words, Ms. Laura.

I am so glad you could join me on this journey for peace. I hope you will come back again and offer more insight... the comments and different perspectives that other's share, remind me of the disciples walking together sharing their stories, while teaching and encouraging each other.

I love the question that you posed.... definitely food for thought! I join you in your prayer - beautifully written words that touched my heart. Thank you for sharing that you struggle with the same issues, you openness means alot.

Blessings & Peace, my friend.