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Monday, October 19, 2009

eating words for breakfast

at the recent Global Leadership Summit, i found myself sitting, once again, in a session where someone smart and together challenged the rest of us to embrace balance in our lives if we are to succeed beyond mere survival in our leadership exploits.

being what i like to call chronically overextended, i heard the message, recognized it was for me, and logged it away. so when the guy who had been charged with transitioning us from session to session through some presumed teachable moments said 'let's take a couple minutes to just hear from God' i was ready to check out because, after all, i had already heard from him and he was reminding me of some things of which i was already aware and in a perpetual battle with the demands of life to apply.

but in the few minutes taken, God said something else.

the message was rather simple and direct:
go to bed at night and read your bible in the morning.

i did NOT see that one coming.

see, late at night is when i often play catch-up ball. answer emails, read books for classes, blog, listen to music- i've always stayed up late. late at night is even when i have historically read my bible...

except when its too late and i'm too tired, having attended to everything else. that's when the justifications defaults pop-up. the best one is

in the interest of balance, i should probably just go to sleep now.

there are a couple of compromises that are tied for second, should the best one not be able to continue its reign. they both involve doing spiritual disciplines like prayer or bible reading for a minute or two before falling asleep.

not much of a spiritual growth regimen.

so when God invited me to just switch it up, going to bed at night and reading my bible in the morning, i found myself and my life radically reoriented in a couple rather necessary ways:

1) going to bed at a decent time is an act of faith- a form of ongoing sabbath that implies by its practice that i believe in my God to sustain me- indeed, in some cases to speed me- through the responsibilities and challenges of each day, attending to it all in the time allotted. this has required greater discipline and some important reprioritization with careful attention to the time wasting that needs to be trimmed off of the edges of things.

2) beginning each day with scripture has become like starting it off with a good, balanced breakfast. i have fuel for the day which powers me through it with the perspective that i need in order to make the very action of living, worship offered in spirit and in truth.

and living life- giving away love and hope in service of the people placed in our path- is that to which we've been called into existence to do by God's power for God's glory, right?