The Faithfulness Challenge

This past Sunday during service our pastor issued a challenge: see if you can notice God’s faithfulness in your life.  And when you do, start building memorials to the instances where you catch God’s goodness in action.  So over the past few days, I’ve been doing just that.  At first it was easy (and fun), because it’s easy to find things when you know where to look, and when you’re not distracted from looking.  What happens when you introduce the daily rigors of everyday life to cloud your view?  That’s when things get a bit more interesting, and what I’ve discovered is that life slows down for no one, including busy parents.  We have to make it slow down, in order to capture these moments.

For a full day, everything started off fine with my faithfulness challenge (what longevity right?).  Then Monday came, or should I say, then the week happened.  Now I don’t know about you, but for me this week has been all kinds of busy.  Commitments at work, new commitments with the girls, swim classes two days a week, two gymnastics classes, late night meetings, rush hour traffic, long to do lists, behind on to do lists…by Wednesday (yesterday) I’d all but forgotten my challenge and was struggling to come up with one new memorial a day.

What happened?  It’s not like God’s faithfulness in my life suddenly decreased.  I’m pretty sure it was all about how my focus and attention shifted away from God’s faithfulness, towards worries of how the next thing would get done.  Funny how much I need those memorials now as a reminder of how when I was in these exact types of situations before, worrying about how or whether God would come through again.  The focus on God’s faithfulness for me has been an exercise in fighting the daily machine of doubt, doubt that things won’t work out in big or small ways.

This morning I woke up, and as usual headed to have quiet time with what felt like the weight of the world on my shoulders.  Nothing dramatic, just simply the everyday pressures of being husband, dad, brother, son, friend, etc.  But the first thing I heard this morning that gave me peace, even before I got out of bed was, roll over and kiss your wife.  Usually for the past few days, she’d actually been up earlier than I, working on patient charts, and the fact that she was still in the bed shows how much the week had worn her out as well.  So I kissed her, and as I did, I simply thanked God for slowing down the moment to help me remember to do something small, but significant.

And that’s what today is about for me, slowing down moments.  Breathing.  Not feeling so rushed doing the “good work” of living, leading, parenting, that I forget to take it all in along the way.  I needed that, and hopefully I’ll be able to sustain it because my calendar doesn’t look any less full the next few days, so there are plenty of more opportunities to practice slow-jamming my own life.

I think I’ve found my memorial for today’s faithfulness. I encourage you to find yours, trust me, you’ll need it.

SDW3

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