This week, in some devotional reading, I came across a sentence that I have been rolling over in my mind for several days: "I realized that, when it comes to faith, I spend most of my energy trying to make God fit into my life, rather than making room in my life for God to take root and grow." (Jeremy Langford in Seeds of Faith)
AS IF!!! As if I could somehow shape and mold God into something that would fit into my helter-skelter-never-stopping-to-smell-the roses-life!Talk about wasted energy. God can morph into any shape God wishes but I have no power to control that whatsoever. Yet this is what we all try to do - we want to domesticate God . We want to reduce God to an item on our to-do list: “OK, said my prayers at bedtime and wrote a check to the church. I'm good to go and nice of you to stop by, Lord!”
This approach to God is akin to the "Quality Time" parenting myths that were so pervasive when my children were small. The theory was that if you made the time you spent with your child meaningful, a little bit would go a long way. The problem (well, ONE of the problems) was, children weren't always in the mood for meaningful activities when you had them in your Daytimer. The fact that a parent had scheduled a 4-hour block to take a child to the zoo didn't mean the child was going to be in the mood ,or feeling well, or that the weather would cooperate. Parenting by the calendar - the most efficient way raise your child. Are you laughing? I know you are - nothing is less efficient than hanging out with a child, except maybe hanging out with God. . .
God doesn't want your quality time either. Like your child, God wants all of you: the good, the bad, the inefficient. Efficiency is a human priority. God created plants that would be pollinated at the whim of bees and butterflies. Plants proliferated everywhere: vines climbing up the trees, birds pecking at the fruit, flowers and weeds indistinguishable. Humans created fields with straight rows of corn or cotton, carefully weeded and watered when the rain doesn't come.
God comes in like a child and fills up your life. You can try to limit the space you give to God, but if you share your space, you will find that faith and love expand and take root. Faith and love will last through all the bumps along the way; all the joys and sorrows of being a parent, a child, a person. . . I'm sure you had ideas of how you would fit a child into your life, or another child into your family. I am equally sure it didn't work quite the way you had planned. Along the way you let go of a lot of things to make space for your children – and I'll bet most of them seemed like small sacrifices, in retrospect. Look around for the not-so-important thing that is occupying space that God could use; as God grows in your life, you won't miss it!