Sometimes living the life of someone seeking God can be a bit harder than it looks on the surface. The busyness of life tends to get in the way, and we find ourselves filling any unscheduled time with serving others. Helping in the church nursery. Volunteering at a soup kitchen. Teaching a Sunday School class or hosting a small group. Preparing for the next mission trip.
All of these acts of service are wonderful ways to show others Christ’s love; however, those of us fulfilling these acts oftentimes fall under the illusion that these deeds alone will bring us into a deeper intimacy with God.
While employed as the former executive pastor of Willow Creek Community Church, Hawkins set forth on a quest to discover which ministries at his church produced people with the most spiritual growth. What he discovered came as a bit of a shock. It wasn’t the ministries that made the difference. It wasn’t even church attendance. Puzzled, he ventured out to discover the truth.
In this book, Hawkins records his findings, discussing step-by-step what exactly does determine spiritual growth. Of all the factors involved, the aspect that most resonated with me was this:
“Focus on now, not next.”
As an extremely busy mom, everyday I find myself flitting from one thing to the next, thinking about my long list of to-do’s for the day.
-The kids and I have a lot to do for school today.
-I didn’t start the laundry yet.
-There are a ton of dishes in the sink.
-I still have five books to read and review.
-I have to renew the library books.
The list goes on and on. And while all of this is floating through my head, my children are asking me to do this, watch this, find this, read this, and over and over I keep telling them not now, not now! But here is a poignant truth I discovered in the pages of this book:
“Those living a life of more love God and love people right now, in the moment. They’re increasingly free from anxiety and fear and distraction. They don’t need to know what’s next; they only need to know who is in charge of what’s next and be in relationship with Him.”
I’ve never had something resonate with me as much as this statement. How can I have an intimate relationship with God if I’m too busy to let Him in? And busy I am. I’m always rushing, rushing, trying to check the next thing off my list.
“If you find yourself wondering why you don’t hear from God or why He seems distant, look at the pace of your life. Are you missing moments because you are simply running right past them?”
Yes. Yes, I am.
This book has had such a huge impact on how I see things now. All this time I’ve been desperately seeking a closer relationship with God, not realizing that He’s just been waiting for me to slow down and notice that He’s been there all along.
I highly, highly recommend this book to anyone desiring a deeper relationship with our Creator. Words can’t even express the effect it’s had on me.
Disclosure: I received this book from Blogging for Books for this review.