Coming Home

There are moments when I realize I've slipped away.

I've stopped reading my bible every day. I've stopped praying intentionally. I haven't been to church in a week or two or three.

I keep telling myself I'll get around to praying, around to reading.

But another distraction, another obligation moves to the front of the line.

I'll read a chapter in the Bible, then forget what I read an hour later. I'll forget to pray until right as I'm going to bed, and then I fall asleep.

Small things, biting away at my relationship with God. I want to wait until I have time to really catch up on my reading, or really pray for everything I need to. Then I spend way too much time on Twitter, or watching TV, or listening to Tori Kelly. I end up frustrated with myself. I crave connection with God, but block it at the same time. 

A week will go by, and then another. And I get more and more frustrated with myself. The more time that goes by, the more time I have to make up for. Life becomes cluttered. I neglect my quiet time in favor of an extra half hour of sleep, or extra time to do my hair, or extra time to do anything else.

A couple of months ago, I was at a Sunday morning hang out my youth group has before church. We were having a morning of worship in our newly refurbished building. The senior pastor of our church heard about it, and decided to stop by. Note: I go to a church with multiple campuses, meaning that every week the message is preached at the main campus and shown on screens at the other campuses. Our senior pastor was at our campus in person that week because the refurbished building was having its grand re-opening.

I've been going to this church for several years. That morning is the closest I have been to the senior pastor of my church (it seems weirder than it is. Or maybe I've just gotten used to it). The point it, I paid attention to what he chose to say to us. He's a globally respected pastor, and there's a reason the church he founded has thousands of members.

I could practically see it when he walked to the front of the room. His love and relationship with God was evident. I wrote down the gist of what I remembered him talking about.

The time you spend with God is time you'll never regret. It's the greatest, most important, more valuable time we spend. It keeps us humble. It reminds us of His greatness and our smallness. He leads us to be leaders. He leads us to serve.

For the next month, whenever I questioned whether I should read my Bible, spend time praying, etc, or if I should hang out on Twitter, I went back to that first sentence. "The time you spend with God is time you'll never regret."

Sometimes I forget that.

Time with God isn't always flashy, thrilling, or appealing when put up against my favorite TV show or sleep. But I know that I've regretted time I've spent staring at screens or lying in bed for an extra five minutes  (or an extra hour). And I know I've never regretted time I spent praying, reading my Bible, listening to God.

But when I've been away from that for a couple of days, a couple of weeks, I'm afraid that it'll take time, or at least a great worship service, to get back to where I was.

The thing is, my God is a God of grace.

We only need to take a step towards Him and He comes running to us. 

|| "'I will arise and go to my father, and I will say to him, “Father, I have sinned against heaven and before you. I am no longer worthy to be called your son. Treat me as one of your hired servants.”’ And he arose and came to his father. But while he was still a long way off, his father saw him and felt compassion, and ran and embraced him and kissed him." Luke 15:18-20 ||

All we need is to humble ourselves, turn around, and head towards home. In those moments when I've slipped away, I only need to turn my face back towards God, and He'll come running for me.

He already pain the price for us. He already values us.

He just wants us to come home. And that's what's up.



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