Stop NOW! Time is of the essence…

“Repent ye therefore, and be converted, that your sins may be blotted out,

 when the times of refreshing shall come from the presence of the Lord.”

(Acts 3:18-20)

Have you ever scheduled an activity, only to find that the time to do it never comes?  Do you often plan to do things and realize (maybe weeks later) that the time to accomplish them never presented itself?  If you can relate, it’s quite possible you need to take a moment to stop and evaluate where your energy is going.  Where is your focus?  If it’s all over the place, that could be an indicator that you need to try a different approach.

Now contrast this with a stoplight turning red – what does that signal (or indicator) mean?  It means: STOP NOW!  If you put it off until later – it might be too late.  It is actually hazardous (to your health and the health of others) not to stop when you see the signal is already red – or better yet, if you see the warning of the yellow caution light telling you to slow down and PREPARE to stop.

A friend recently e-mailed me, reminding me to take time to refuel, reconnect, and REST.  I appreciated her concern for me as I wondered incredulously, “Exactly WHEN would I find the time to do this?!?”  Truth be told, she e-mailed me on 12/12/07, but I’m just now getting this message posted on 12/20/07 – see how it happens?  Time drifts away from us when we don’t actively manage it.  Let’s commit to actively managing our time in 2008 instead of passively allowing time to dictate to us what our schedules will be…a novel concept, wouldn’t you agree?

The times of refreshing come from the presence of the Lord.  If you’re too busy to spend time with Him to get clarity and direction for your life, then guess what?  You’re just too busy.  Stop NOW!  Refocus. Reprioritize.  Rest in Him.  As we take time at the end of the year to reflect, we can also use this time to reprioritize based on what’s really important.  The Holy Spirit is here to help us and guide us as we commit to aligning with God’s Word. 

Abundant blessings as you tie up those loose ends and approach the conclusion of 2007 🙂

© 2007 by Kayren J. Cathcart

Advertisements

Don’t EVEN Go There!

“Casting down imaginations, and every high thing that exalteth itself against the knowledge of God, and bringing into captivity every thought to the obedience of Christ;

And having in a readiness to revenge all disobedience, when your obedience is fulfilled.”

(II Corinthians 10:5-6)

Why do we do things we have no business doing and say things we have no business saying?  Because we allow ourselves to think things we have no business thinking!  How do I know?  Because I’m Culprit #1!   I’m sitting here at my desk munching on a rice cake, and I recall the instruction on the package “Do not microwave.”  So I start pondering and wondering, “What’s the worst that could happen if I put it in the microwave?”  Then I looked around stealthily (as if someone were actually watching me in my cube) and said to myself, “Surely nothing bad could happen in 5 seconds if I tested this out…”

This is a lighthearted (but true) example of how quickly things can get out of proportion and out of hand.

Guard the seeds that are planted in your mind and what you allow to grow there.  If a wayward thought takes root, it’s gonna be harder to get rid of it once it’s growing.  Take preventive action – don’t let it settle in!

 © Copyright 2007 by Kayren J. Cathcart

Fill ‘Er Up! Lessons From the Gas Station of Life

“Let all bitterness, and wrath, and anger, and clamour, and evil speaking,

be put away from you, with all malice:

And be ye kind one to another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another,

even as God for Christ’s sake hath forgiven you.”

(Ephesians 4:31-32)

Background From Last Night

So I was aggravated with someone yesterday.  (Yes, with all of my own idiosyncrasies and quirks, I had the nerve and unmitigated gall to be irritated by one of God’s children – audacious, I know).  My annoyance over a very minor thing with them probably didn’t start yesterday, but it had accumulated when I didn’t deal with the tiny seed of irritation when it first appeared.  Last night, I tried to shake it off, but the more I thought about it, the more frustrated I became.  As my hubby reminded me, this person had probably moved on and was sleeping very well.  So I tried to pray before going to bed (realizing I was blocking my own blessings if I didn’t forgive and release this person), I tried to “calm myself down,” I even tried to think about something else and take my mind off the situation by doing a puzzle.  This morning, I’m not sure if any of this really worked that well, but I did finally go to sleep around 2 a.m.  And it’s not that I wasn’t tired (because I LOVE sleep – it’s a hobby); I was just agitated in my spirit and in my flesh. 

Snapshot From This Morning

During this morning’s commute, I stopped to attend to the gas needle looming ominously near “E.”  The first indicator that I’d happened upon a gas pump with an attitude was when I set it to auto pump, got back in the car with the kids, then noticed (30 seconds later) that the numbers weren’t moving.  It was going NOWHERE – fast.  So I got out again, reset the pump, and got back in the car as the gas (finally) pumped.  Up I watched the numbers climb – whew, what it takes to fill a tank these days!  After a few moments of bantering with my kids and singing along with the radio, I heard the man at the pump next to me banging on my gas tank. (I admit that my first fleeting thought was, “Oh Lord, is he trying to do something to my kids in the backseat?!”).  Then he quickly stopped the gas pump and told me, “Ma’am, your tank was overflowing and your gas was spilling out.”  I sheepishly thanked him for his act of kindness, then pulled off fuming as I wondered how many extra pennies from my budget had run out onto the pavement.  Yet, I tried to shake that off and let it go, too.  I know God is my Provider, and He hasn’t stopped doing His job.  Are you starting to see how vexed I was?  Can you relate?

The Point

As I pulled off from the gas station, indignant with the faulty pump (how ridiculous, I know!), I realized that last night’s episode was a precursor and foreshadowing to this morning’s gas incident.  My own tank (my heart) was so full of junk that I couldn’t even sing along with the worship music without feeling like a hypocrite.  I knew something had to give.  I had to get rid of that stuff – and FAST.  Last night I had enough sense to realize that I didn’t want to pass away with that stuff lingering in my heart.  I repented for wasting the precious time God was gracious enough to give me.

Take Action – Make a Change

So the question for all of us today:  What are you already full of?  What are you trying to pump in?  Is there room for anything else in your tank?  If so, would there be a place in your heart for the Holy Spirit to come and dwell, or would He be crowded out by bitterness, wrath, anger, clamor, evil speaking, and malice?

I encourage you to join me in getting rid of the junk in your tank today so you can make room for the priceless substance of the Holy Spirit’s presence.  We’ll go a lot further – and get better gas mileage!  Now if you’ll excuse me, I think I have a phone call to make.  I need to release this person and move on with my day.

p.s. If y’all have any tips for how YOU let stuff go right away instead of letting it get under your skin, please e-mail me!  God’s got my attention and (in spite of what it feels like) I am determined to allow Him to work on me for HIS glory, for there is no good thing in flesh!

© Copyright 2007 by Kayren J. Cathcart