Lack of Time or Lack of Interest?
Lack of Time or Lack of Interest?
One of our good friends was already in the last years of his life when we met him.
Albert was a bachelor all his life. In WWII he had been a merchant marine who’d been on a sinking ship not once, not twice, but three times. He’d been a prisoner of war. His words often flew out of his mouth before he’d had a chance to sensor them. And he had definite opinions on everything.
He was the crustiest man we’ve ever known. Yet, through Albert’s actions he did lead like Jesus.
He put God first.
We knew this through his stories and his silent acts of service. It was evident by his deliberate choice to show up at his church on Sundays and Wednesdays, even if he had to walk many miles to get there (including in his 80’s!). His interest in people was not for personal gain, but rather to sow into them. When he saw a need he’d quietly provide.
The phrase he most often used when referring to how others lived their lives was, “No time… no time.” That was his impression of the world.
One story Albert ruefully told was of an experience with his crewmates on one of his sinking ships. As their ship was sinking after being hit by torpedoes, and he saw men kneeling in prayer and he’d mock them by saying, “So now you choose to pray!”
Having spent many months with these men at sea, he knew they hadn’t made time for Godly pursuits in their everyday life. Yet in their moments before expected death, they cried out to God.
Albert shared this story to teach others that the reason people don’t pray wasn’t a lack of time. It was a lack of interest.
Time To Evaluate Our interests
As a couple, we (Robert and Lori) are like most.
We delight in our family. We enjoy events, gatherings and activities. We even relish our work. Any extra in-between moments during the day are gobbled up with email and social media. We usually have a book or two we’re in the middle of reading, and when life becomes too much we may choose to numb ourselves with popular television sitcoms.
We are also people who profess Christ Jesus. We follow Jesus. We seek to lead like Jesus.
How much of what we fill our days with demonstrates that we are interested in Jesus?
- Do our interactions with our family show our bias toward leading like Jesus?
- Within an event, gathering or activity have we given any thought to sowing Godly seeds?
- Do we live two lives; a work life that’s secular and an after-work life that’s Jesus-focused?
- Would those who read our social media posts know that we seek to lead like Jesus?
- What are we reading? Are they books and articles we’d suggest to others as uplifting, faith building, and life enhancing?
- And our media consumption… would that honor our desire to lead like Jesus?
As a couple, if we were candid about these questions… then we’d have to answer, “Not always.” Jesus is not always the focal point of all our interests.
Sadly, it often takes a crisis to impact our interests and change our priorities, as our friend Albert revealed. Only then do we turn to prayer.
Begin Every Interest In Prayer
A thoughtful question is asked in the Lead Like Jesus Encounter:
Is prayer your first response or last resort?
Prayer should be part of all our interests. We would do well to ask the Lord what interests we should pursue and what we should avoid.
Taking time to pray is one way we demonstrate our intentionality to lead like Jesus.
“But Jesus often withdrew to lonely places and prayed.” – Luke 5:16
If we follow Jesus example, we will be intentional about making time for a conversation with God. If we then listen and watch intently, we will also be pointed to where our time and interests should be focused.
When we put God first across all our interests, everything else will fall into its perfect place.
Take time to pray. Today. Now.
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