Thursday, May 22, 2014

Free to Follow

Galatians 5:13-14, 16-17 (NLT) – For you have been called to live in freedom, my brothers and sisters.  But don’t use your freedom to satisfy your sinful nature.  Instead, use your freedom to serve one another in love.  So I say, let the Holy Spirit guide your lives.  Then you won’t be doing what your sinful nature craves.  The sinful nature wants to do evil, which is just the opposite of what the Spirit wants.  And the Spirit gives us desires that are the opposite of what the sinful nature desires.  These two forces are constantly fighting each other, so you are not free to carry out your good intentions.

Just after I vowed to stick with my quiet time, prioritizing it above my schedule, I didn’t.  Funny that God chose to send this passage today.  Ah, the struggle!  I could read this as a slap on the wrist, but I don’t.  I find it affirming.  Here’s why:

While I know God has called me to this blog ministry, the daily part is self-imposed.  I want everyone in God’s Word daily.  That’s not a bad goal, but perhaps I should mix a little freedom in with my ‘law’.  Twice, yesterday, I followed the Spirit’s lead and both interruptions caused me to be late to my next scheduled activity.

First, I saw a woman walking who I know is going through a tough time.  I could have given a friendly smile, waved and driven by.  I was on schedule according to my agenda.  But instead I stopped to chat and I believe we both were blessed.  Was I late for my weekly walk and doggie fix?  Yes, but was that God’s priority?

Second, I was quickly returning some borrowed books to cross it off my to-do list.  I would usually slide them in the mailbox and text about the drop-off.  Instead I rang the doorbell.  That quick errand became an enriching, good-for-my-soul conversation.  Was I late for the bell concert on my agenda?  Yes, but I was still blessed by an hour of beautiful music and a warm, squeezy hug from an old friend.  (The friend is not old, but our friendship is a treasure.)

Lo and behold!  I still had quiet time, just not according to my usual morning routine.  The sound of bells was prayer of a different kind – peaceful, calming and lovely.

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