Saturday, September 26, 2009

Leaving Loved Ones

Last weekend I had to make a quick trip to visit family. First I visited with my son and his family. Then I had the opportunity to visit with my brother and my mother. I had a quick visit with my daughter and ended the weekend visiting with my in-laws. As I drove home I realized I was already missing them.

Tomorrow afternoon I'll leave home to drive to St. Louis so I can fly out early Monday morning to go to Austin, Texas. While I am looking forward to the opportunity to learn how to better study God's Word I am already thinking about the days I'll spend away from my loving wife. I'll be surrounded by people, but I'll be lonely. It's just not fun when I'm away from my wife.

As I thought about that I wondered why it is that we can wander away from God and not think much about it. We manage to miss our quiet time with Father and get through the day okay. We can even go two or three days without serious times of prayer and Bible study and not seem to miss it.

I know God longs to spend time with us, so the problem has to be us. Maybe we don't miss Him because we don't love Him deeply enough. How deeply should one love Him? Well, maybe we need to take a serious look at the Great Commandment: "Love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your strength." Deuteronomy 6:5 (HCSB)

Love is born out of relationships. As I spend time with my family I love them more and more. As I spend time with the Lord I learn to love Him more and more. I learn to love Him with all my heart, with all my sould, and with all my strength. And then it happens: there comes that day when a day without spending time with Him is a day of loneliness.

Monday, September 7, 2009

Willfull Disobedience

Recently my son and his family came for a visit My oldest granddaughter is going to be four in December. She is a sweet girl. However, she pushes the boundaries, and at times during the visit she exhibited willful disobedience. On a couple of occasions she was told to do something and disobeyed.

That wasn't enough. After her father or her mother patiently explained why she must do it she still refused. Then they spelled out the consequences of her disobedience, giving her one last chance to do the right things. Still, knowing that there would be consequences that would be unpleasant, she was determined to have her own way.

I couldn't help thinking about our spiritual disobedience. God often asks us to do something and in willful disobedience we tell Him no. He patiently asks again, reinforcing the fact that we need to be obedient to Him. Finally, we are reminded of the consequences: obedience brings God's blessing while disobedience brings His discipline. Still, we choose to be disobedient.

It's not fun to watch my three year-old granddaughter willfully disobey her parents. It's painful for me to watch when she continues to disobey, knowing the outcome. And, I know it's painful for her parents to have to discipline her.

I don't think our Father enjoys it any more when we disobey. I think He is just as patient, encouraging us to do the right thing. But when we willfully disobey, He lovingly disciplines us.