Let's Not Eat and Run

On Sunday our pastor issued a challenge to us.

Approach your daily quiet  time / devotional reading time with 15 minutes of silent reflection and meditation before opening a devotional or bible study book.

The reason for the challenge?  To get us to realize that quiet time / devotional reading time is not an activity to check off the to do list and feel good about...it is a time to sit in His presence.  His point is that for us  to come to this full realization, we need to quiet our minds, take a deep breath and get fully into His presence.

As I thought about this challenge my mind drifted to thoughts of why I write this blog; as an encouragement for us all to remember God is waiting at the table daily to nourish our souls with what He knows it will need for the day.

I couldn't help but be convicted about the times I am guilty of coming to the table 
because I know I need to, 
but with fork and spoon in  hand, 
ready to eat and run. 

It goes something like this:

"Hello Lord.  Here I am...what ya' got for me today?  I see here in this quick devotional that you say (xxx) to me and I'm gonna take that encouragement for this day.  Thanks!  Gotta go. Lots to do You know and I'm late getting started."

My mind continued to wander (just to clarify...and just in case there is a wild chance my pastor reads this post *grin*...I sit through the service twice to sing in praise team and choir...so most of the time my wondering thoughts happen during the second time around *wink*)

As I was saying :-) ...
My mind continued to wander and I imagined what my family or friends would think if I continually accepted their invitations to dinner and fellowship but came with this same 'eat and run' attitude.  Personally, I'd rather an invited guest politely turn down the invitation rather than showing up with no intention of staying to really enjoy the time of fellowship and the meal I had prepared for their pleasure.

My mind churns with conviction.

Then I start to think about dinner dates that are most edifying, memorable and uplifting.  From time at the table with my family, to occasional dinners with good friends and extended family, the best memories are when we lingered at the table to talk and connect.  In particular I was reminded of a meal I shared with some friends recently when dinner was late getting to the table, but that prodded us to talk more....more deeply and more openly.

More wondering thoughts began to form (wow...I'm really glad I go to both services...otherwise I might miss a lot of what is being said!)

This new thought was how dinner parties don't start with dinner.  They start with mingling and small talk.  You walk into the room, knowing most or some of the people there, and it takes a little time for you to relax and begin to enjoy the company of new and old friends.  By the time dinner is served and seats are taken, conversations are more lively and go beyond the small talk that started off the evening.

Yes Lord.  I hear You.

If I come daily to His table but don't take time to fellowship, 
I miss the best part of the meal. 

And so I began the challenge this morning afternoon. (ouch) That confession there is a good clue about how it went. I struggled to get out of bed, putting my day behind schedule from the beginning.  Of course, this meant things that have a voice or an apparent consequence if delayed or avoided got my attention first thing, all yelling at me to hurry up or else ____________ (fill in blank....I'm sure you've been there / done that!)

By noon I found my way to His table.  I set the timer: 15:00 minutes...start.

14:50 ~ I better go get my phone in case it rings so I can see who it is and turn off ringer...unless it's important. (really?)

13:23 ~ noises in the other room distract my thoughts.  Hmmmm...if I had done this first thing in the morning, those making the noises in the other room would still be in bed.

12:06 ~ the dog is barking to go out.  I get up and tend to him, engaging in a conversation with a family member while I'm up.

11:32 ~ my mind is wandering to the laundry I meant to start before I sat down, then to what I want for lunch, then to the writing I meant to get done over the weekend but got so busy...etc...

By 10:00 and counting, I began to gain control of my thoughts and was more purposeful about pushing aside distractions and thinking of the One I came to fellowship with.  However, I was very mindful of how distracted I was and how hard it was for me to focus on coming into the presence of God.

Conviction:
Do I take my time at the table with Him so casually?  If Jesus in the flesh walked into my home and asked to have dinner with me, would I bring the phone to the table and answer it if caller id said it was important?  Would my mind be distracted by the dirty dishes, laundry and work that needed my attention? Would I ask Him to pardon me while I left the room to tend to something else, promising to be right back?

Or...

Would I sit at the table with Him, enamored by the gift of His presence and blinded to everything else that might be going on around me? Would I be in awe of the fact that He wanted to sit and fellowship with me?

I want to think it would be the latter if the Son of God walked into my house, in the flesh, to sit with me.

Conviction: 

  • Jesus obediently  went to the cross so that I could sit at the table with God the Father, Son and Holy Spirit.  
  • God sent His son to that cross as a sacrifice to allow me to sit at the table with God the Father, Son and Holy Spirit. 
  • God provided His presence through the gift of His Spirit so that I could sit at the table with God the Father, Son and Holy Spirit.  
...do I still need Jesus to walk into the room, in the flesh, to get my attention and command my respect? 

2 Chronicles 15:2
...The Lord is with you when you are with Him.  
If you seek Him, He will be found by you, 
but if you forsake Him, He will forsake you.

Do I forsake my God when I am distracted?  According to webster, no {forsake: to renounce or turn away from entirely}...but is it a slippery slope to forsaking in the future if we take Him for granted today?  

His word reminds me though, that I need to seek Him {seek: to go in search of; look for}.  This isn't a casual relationship to take lightly.  This is a gift.  A gift that came at a great price. 

Conviction:
Whether I'm slow to get out of bed or anxious to start the 'to do list' of the day, there is no good excuse or reason to seek life's activities over seeking God at the table.  I suppose, if I am truly honest with myself, that one could say I do forsake God in bits and pieces choosing life / activity / chores / schedules / sleeping in, over focused time of seeking Him for daily nourishment.  If I draw that conclusion, then our scripture reference says He forsakes me in those bits of time too.  

Now I'm not taking a stand that a relationship with God is built on tit for tat response / reactions.  But...it's interesting how I am bothered by the idea of God forsaking me, but can casually forsake Him for a period of time while I tend to 'higher' perceived priorities.  "He's not going anywhere....I'll come sit with Him in a bit, after I do xyz".  How much more so do I grieve the Him with my momentary forsaking.  


So much to think about.  Should make for my 15 minutes of meditation and reflection tomorrow very interesting.  I'll let you know!

Our recipe today is Let's Not Eat and Run

The ingredients are from 2 Chronicles: 15:2 

The directions: Don't come with a fork in hand, ready to eat and run, but with a desire to seek His presence and not forsake Him for the demands and distractions of daily life.  


CLICK HERE for a printable version of today's recipe for the soul.  Make notes on it of how God is speaking to you today, and carry it with you to feed your soul as needed.  

PRAYER: 
Father God, how patient You are with me.  I cannot repay Your mercies but I can bring to You an offering of thanks and praise.  I can come to Your table with a convicted heart that desires to stop grieving You and instead bless You with focused attention to You, Your Word and Your direction. How quick I am to take for granted the great lengths You went to and the great sacrifice You offered to give me this gift of time at the table with You. My heart is convicted and I come to You now seeking more of You.  Thank You for removing veils of distraction and letting me see this 'taken for granted' attitude.  I am blessed beyond measure by the gift of Your presence.  I want more of You. I come to you in the name of my precious Savior, Jesus Christ. Amen.




I'd love to have you at the table each time I pull up a chair.  If you don't already, won't you join us?
Just click the link above, submit your email address and then 
be sure to click the 'verify' link when the email is sent to your inbox.  
After that, I'll be saving you a chair at the table!


God Bless and Keep You,
Copyright© 2012 Feeding a Hungry Soul

For more time at His table, try visiting these blogs where I like to link up in fellowship with other followers of Christ. CLICK HERE
A word of encouragement? A note to say 'hey'?  
Just click comments below...it makes my day! 


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