The Adjustment

I like mornings pretty well. I might even be a morning person, if that’s what you want to call it. These days I have it pretty nice, because I don’t have to be at work until ten o’clock. But I usually function pretty well in the morning, even if I have to get up earlier.

I have a few reasons for getting up two hours before work. I really like to have some time to sit around and drink coffee. Coffee is actually one of my favorite morning things, but I also like to get caught up on the news and maybe listen to a little music. But my primary reason, or at least what I like to tell myself, is to spend some time with God.

I know, maybe it sounds cliche to say it that way. But it’s true.

I’m embarrassed, frankly, at how often the time I had mentally designated for God, gets cut short by news, social media, or just lack of time management. So as I dash out the door for work, my hands and arms full of the day’s essentials, I’m ashamed by my lack of discipline . . . again.

It doesn’t always happen this way, thank God. But I can’t help but get really peeved at how human I am sometimes.

See, part of me says, “You’re strong and awesome.” It’s probably that part of me that overrides the part that says “No, you are actually are puny and weak without God.”

I forget that the times I feel all terrific about life, are only possible because of God’s goodness in spite of my mistakes. And I don’t remember to thank Him for it often enough. Then I start to feel all incredible about myself. Then God humbles me. And I’m glad He does, even though it reminds me of how small I am.

I too often underestimate the importance of that daily adjustment of my perspective. My best days are days I start with God. Now before I’m accused of being unrealistic and a proponent of “do the right things and the Holy Vending Machine will dispense wealth and awesomeness into your life” theology, let me explain myself.

By saying what I did earlier, I didn’t mean that days I start with God are full of material blessings, ease, and stress-free relationships. Not at all. Days I start with God are actually full of the same events: much like days I kind of forget about Him.

The difference is this. On days I start with God, I glimpse the world through His eyes. He shows me a sliver of the grand masterpiece from his point of view. He pulls his hand back a bit and lets me read a small bit of the epic He’s writing–from His own perspective, not mine.

And the beautiful thing is, when I allow Him to adjust my perspective first thing in the morning, I really tend to view the events of the day from that perspective. The everyday turns into the unusual, the mundane into the extraordinary. Other people’s perspectives are worth more, mine worth less.

By saying all this, I’m not pretending that these “time with God in the morning days” turn me into some unbelievably radiant person. I’m not even sure other people notice all the time. I think people often will notice whether or not you’re taking cues from God, but that’s not even the point. The point is that it’s easier for communion with God to exist throughout the day when I start it with Him.

And the more it happens, transformation slowly takes place. It’s rarely an impressive explosion, like fireworks. It’s a lot more like the slow growth of a plant. And while fireworks are fun, they’re not particularly useful and last for seconds. Plants make so we don’t die, and tend to stick around.

The interesting thing is, I don’t always notice this while it’s happening, and that’s fine. Because there’s a good chance I’m not paying attention to myself anymore, and I’m paying attention to God.

So I’m going to keep trying to discipline myself. It’s a lot easier to keep up with news and check Facebook, then to maintain a relationship with God. But it’s also less rewarding. In fact, even comparing the two of them on paper like this is lame.

You’d think with all the neat things God has shown me about Himself, I would keep coming back for more as often as possible. But I continue the struggle against my deceitful heart, which, only by the grace of God, is slowly growing into something more beautiful.


3 comments on “The Adjustment

  1. Andrew says:

    Good stuff, my man. It was time for an other good blog post from rjshetler. 🙂
    The stuff you’re talking about is a constant battle for me, but it really is worth the discipline.

  2. EJ says:

    Amen and amen! Good post, RJ. Something about God soothes the hecticness of life. So worthwhile and so easy to let slide. blessings on your journey,

  3. Brian says:

    Thank you RJ! I love it! So true that time with God is completely worth it, yet so hard to prioritize!

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