I like coffee. No, I love coffee. I couldn’t imagine one day without coffee. I get the same thing at Starbucks everyday: Grande coffee with cream and two Splendas. It never changes. When I walk in, they make my coffee before I have a chance to order and today, they didn’t charge me the $1.86…it was free. I suppose that’s because I’m probably the reason that particular shop is even open and they are thankful to still have jobs. When they see my truck come through the drivethrough, they know who’s coming; there’s no question…it’s Pastor Jamie who’s going to order the same thing he does every single day of his life. On Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday mornings I’m at Shari’s Restaurant & M&M’s Restaurant at two of our men’s breakfast Bible studies. They know our names and they know what we want…coffee. Coffee is a fixture in my life. Some of you might call it an addiction, but in my denial I will call it “a lifestyle.” 🙂
Coffee isn’t the only “fixture” in my life; the only consistent day-in-and-day-out thing I can count on each and every day. I can count on talking to my wife, talking to my kids, waking-up each morning, going to bed every night, eating food, breathing, going to work, my chair holding me up, my desk will be in my office, the church will be where it has been for the last 120-years, cops will try to catch us speeding in the school zone, my truck will start, Jim Rome will come on at 10am, Charles Stanley will preach at 6:30am on KPDQfm, and I will lead a staff meeting today at 11:30am.
Lots of constants in our lives when you think about it. And I was just getting started! Think of the constants in your day. All the things you can count on happening; some things will happen for sure and some simply “might” happen. But look at your daily schedule for each day of the week. What do you have “penciled-in”? What things have you scheduled and made time for today, tomorrow, and the next day? Now let me ask you this? Where in your daily scheduling do you pencil-in time with God? Is there an actual time slot on your daily calendar in which you write, “Time with Jesus” or “Bible study” or “quiet time”?
We tend to schedule the things “we must get done today”…we pencil those things in, literally, on our calendars. But we don’t pencil-in the most important thing, focusing on God…just Him and you. We pencil in those “to do’s” we absolutely must get done and those things we want to get done and we strive to get them all done, and then we will give God what we have left, and when we have a free moment to do so. It’s like preparing to go on vacation as we pack our clothes, check the oil, check the tires, mapquest our destination, and make our reservations…we’re all ready to go and we’re ready to hit the road as we are completely focused on our destination. But the most important aspect of taking this road trip is fuel. You must gas-up. You’ve prioritized everything else needed for the trip, but you’ve neglected filling the tank up with gas before you leave. So you leave anyway without gassing up. You stop for munchies and food and maybe stop to stretch your legs; everything seems to be under control. Before long though, your car runs out of gas and you feel stranded in the middle of nowhere. You feel like you were going along just fine, everything was packed, you’ve eaten well, the tires were OK, the oil was OK,…and sitting on the side of the road holding a cardboard sign that reads, “OUT OF GAS, HELP!”, you find yourself unexpectedly stranded.
Now looking at this situation, you’re probably thinking, “Duh. You ran out of gas and that’s why you’re stranded.” Well, you’re exactly right. You’ve neglected the most important part of traveling, filling your tank with gas. Maybe you though you’d get gas later, when you get a little lower on the tank. Or maybe you just forgot. Regardless, the excuse is just an excuse and you’ve found yourself out of gas because you didn’t fill up.
In life, it’s not a matter of “if” something happens to disrupt your roadtrip, it’s “when” something happens. Is fueling up with God’s Word and prayer important enough for your daily road trip in your life? Don’t render your own road trip “empty” because you didn’t make fueling up with God the highest priority. Pencil-in your time with God because it is simply of most importance. Don’t put it off, pencil Him in right now.
He deserves it, demands it, and it’s for your very best interest as a fully devoted follower of Christ.
Heavenly Father, convict our hearts each and every day to put You first in our lives. Show us daily Your blessings for our lives and help us travel in the road trip of life completely fueled-up with Your Word and aware of Your ever-presence in our lives. Amen.