Finding Time for Your Daily Bread
by Kim Allen, Director of SHINE Children's Ministry
You have battled the masses for that last cranberry sauce at Publix. The turkey is on the cutting board and the mashed potatoes and gravy are almost ready. The china (or Chinette, depending on how you roll) adorns the table.
Imagine if everything were ready, and instead of sitting down with your favorite people, you decide to sneak a few bites,(just enough to tide you over) and head out to hit those early Black Friday sales (you know, the ones that happen on Thursday?), skipping out on the best meal all year.
Actually, it’s not that much of a stretch. We do this more often than we realize.
In one of my favorite sermons ever, aptly titled “It’s Time to Eat!”, Dr. David Swanson is on point when he compares choosing spiritual appetizers over the real meal. There is always the temptation substitute a great sermon for the daily bread of Scripture reading and prayer. We choose these weekly hors d’oeuvres, when God desires to serve us a true meal, one that will provide sustenance for genuine Christian growth and maturity. (Listen to a snippet here).
If this is true, what could possibly entice us away from such a satisfying banquet?
For starters, we may not realize the delight that awaits us. If we’ve never consistently experienced God’s rich and satisfying Word on our own, we don’t know what we’re missing. It’s like ordering a cheap burger when prime rib is available.
Or, could it be that we just don’t make the time? One of the delights of a good meal is the pace. Because we anticipate the pleasure, we slow down and savor every bite. Most of us are running at a clip that never allows us to consider slowing down.
And a great meal always means guests. The company we enjoy can transform a meal from adequate into extraordinary. But sadly, many of us are satisfied with dining solo; we choose being alone (or with a screen) over being with God.
Dr. Swanson uses the example from 1 Kings 19, when the prophet Elijah, after dealing a crushing blow to wicked Queen Jezebel and her prophets of Baal, must flee her wrath. He ends up alone, afraid and exhausted.
The angel of the Lord comes to Elijah and reminds him that “the journey is too much for him”. (Can I get an amen?) The Lord provides bread and water, which doesn’t seem like much, but it is actually a foretaste of the Bread of Life (John 6) who provides Living Water (John 7) for the souls of hungry, tired people.
Which sounds delicious.
Why do we try to get by on cheese and crackers when we could be feasting on turkey and stuffing?? Why exchange a beautiful banquet for the drive-thru?
Let’s transform the way we eat and satiate our souls on God’s word and prayer. Even if your feast feels small to start, just begin. Set aside the time. Make a conscious choice. Seek out resources. After all, the journey is too much for us and the One who prepares our table is the best chef of all.
The Breadbox is our Children's Ministry email. This monthly publication arrives chock-full information about SHINE, but also tips and resources on how you can disciple your small people.