"and they, continuing daily with one accord in the temple,
and breaking bread from house to house, did eat their meat with gladness and singleness of heart, praising God, and having favor with all the people." Acts 4:6-7
Perhaps one way to achieve this would be to unpack our lives a bit, to examine and reorder our lives, replacing "busy work" and "self improvement" with Kingdom work. Lesson plans, school work, jobs, games, they seem to crowd every hour we have. Only when parents wisely and resolutely take charge of the family schedule can they avoid running breathlessly from one Sunday to the next. Living a blur of a week instead of blessed week.
Active, daily living reveals the rough edges of life, and then takes those rough edges off. If you live in isolation, you come to believe that everything is fine with you and then you believe that everything is fine with everyone else...so not true. You never discover the annoying things about your brother, and he never discovers your faults, because you don't really know each other. But, as you spend time with him and get to know him, you find out that he has some rather unlikable traits, including a completely irrational dislike of some of your own sinful ways. hmmmm
Until you lend something to someone, you will never know that they don't return things on time, and you may not come to realize your own grasping attachment to your possessions. Unless you regularly try to meet with someone, you will be unaware of their chronic tardiness, and of your own desire to have control over your time. Until you give sacrificially of your time or money in the service of another, you will be unaware of their selfish disregard of your needs, and your own selfish motives in serving them.
We all have things about us that are unlovely but instead of avoiding each other, and thus avoiding the pain of dealing with our sinful natures, we are called to deal with each other with great patience and humility, trusting God to gradually make us all more like Christ."
I'm finding out lately to be more like Christ is really not that fun. I love Christ, but dying to myself more and more is truly ripping away of who I think I am, of who I thought I was. At my doctor appointment recently he said, "do you get mommy time?" It sounded elementary almost, mommy time? Well if you count the drive here and then the visit to Sam's afterwards mommy time, then yes I get mommy time...but otherwise I get to walk along side 13 children right now. Yes, you heard me, 13....I struggle with the day to day battle of training, teaching, disciplining, and all the while the clock ticks..I'm like a deer panting for water. The Lord's water. My time precious to someone other than myself. I pour out and feed and love on these little ones. The battlefield hot and dry right now. Mommy time will have to wait. I'm in a battle for God's kingdom and I don't plan on just walking off right yet. I know my doctor meant well and there are days when I wish the mission field of my life was easier and less involved but those are the days that I usually am living and thinking very selfishly. I do take times for walks, so I can breathe and talk to the Lord...but right now I'm in the thick of it and so I stand.....
Now, don't go and say, "Robin said I don't need my time" that's not what I'm saying at all. It's just some seasons of our lives God requires more of us than at other seasons. Also, if your household is in order you will have time to sit and read the bible and pray in between nap time and supper during these busy seasons. You will grow weary and each week will bring with it ups and downs but be of good courage.
Sacrificial living is a life of communion. We are to look for every opportunity to bless each other, we are truly at peace with one another when we're serving eachother.
Thank you, Jonathon Sutton, for your beautiful words of inspiration.