HAGELIN: God waits patiently when life gets busy

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Culture challenge of the week: No time for God

Life is busy: The phone keeps ringing, the children need attention, someone’s at the door. The dog is barking, the bills need to be paid, there’s a deadline at work. Where is the time for God?

He doesn’t pound on the door like the neighborhood children, or interrupt while you’re working, or call during dinner like the telemarketers. No, He patiently waits for us to call on Him.

While you try to figure out schedules, or why you’re already out of milk (again), or who’s picking up whom from what, God waits.

While you throw a load of laundry into the washer, sweep the kitchen floor and sort the mail, God waits.

My husband and I make it a priority to find time each day for a private conversation over a cup of coffee. We take the time to show love toward our now-grown children and discuss their lives and concerns. We have friends over for dinner. Meanwhile, God waits.

Why does it often seem so difficult to find the time to talk to God? Many of us know that prayer is effective and powerful and healing. It has the ability to change us, to strengthen us, to give us peace. Yet it is often the last thing we take the time to do — often finding ourselves falling into bed, whispering a few words as we drift off to sleep.

As I was pondering this question, I came across a Bible passage that grabbed my attention: “Yet God does not abandon us. He keeps His promise: ‘Never will I leave you; never will I forsake you.’” (Hebrews 13:5)

Even during storms, He stands just to the side, ever watchful, waiting to embrace us the moment we again seek His presence.

His words to Jeremiah apply to us all: “Call to me and I will answer you.” (Jeremiah 33:3) When I read that passage, I grow numb as I try to absorb the thought that the God of all creation has commanded me to call on Him. My mind can’t begin to comprehend that He promises to answer me.

Yet, I am ashamed to admit, I often neglect to talk to God. Sometimes I am too tired, sometimes too busy — maybe sometimes too selfish.

And I have to wonder: What peace or power or direction is missing from my life because I neglect my relationship with God? He reaches out in every sunset, every rainfall, every flower, but I focus instead on my own agenda. He wrote me a letter, gave me the gift of His written word, yet my Bible often sits unopened on my coffee table.

How to save your family: Respond to God

Thanks to the examples of my parents and grandparents, and to some good books and great friends who have influenced my life, I’m always brought back to the reality that prayer is an essential part of being all that I can be — a better mother and a better person.

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