I’m a sucker for a candy bowl, especially if it involves chocolate and caramel.
Recently, I found myself around a basket of snack-sized chocolate candy all weekend. The fragrant basket called out, “Eat me! Eat me!” and each time I walk past it, I gave into its beckoning. Though I knew the little snack size Snickers bars don’t hold much, I enjoyed every tiny bite.
Now, if there was a King Size Snickers in that basket, you know I would have grabbed it instead, but that little two inch treat was good enough for the moment. And, in typical chocoholic-style, I couldn’t eat just one. One gave way to another, then another, and another. By the end of my weekend around the candy basket I’m sure I ate as much of a king-sized portion—if not more.
I’ve spent over a decade and a half chatting with women about their time in the Bible, and I continually hear a common thread—one I’ve noticed in my own life. This thought usually begins with, “I know I should…” and continues with the notion that certain time and efforts in the Bible are not good enough. We believe the lie that a snack-sized time in the Bible is meaningless. Only the king-sized times are worth it.
Many of my days don’t allow for a king-sized time in the Bible. For a long while that bothered me. The transition from single living (where I had loads of amazing time in the Bible), into the journey of marriage, then quickly to life with littles was a rocky migration, especially when it came to my “quiet time.”
For a long time, I felt that if I could not have a long, deep time in the Bible each day, it wasn’t good enough. So, paralyzed with the feeling that I wasn’t giving God my best, I gave Him nothing. This lack of time in the Word led to guilt and feelings of inadequacy. Especially as a woman in ministry!
If I found an abandoned dollar on the ground, would I pick it up? Of course I would! I wouldn’t leave it behind, just because it isn’t a hundred. If I had an opportunity to spend five minutes with one of my heroes of the faith, would I turn it down? No way! I would take it and enjoy every second of it. Did I pass up the snack-sized candy because it wasn’t big enough? Nope. I savored that small Snickers (and then some.)
So, why do I act differently when it comes to my time in the Bible? Why do I portray by my actions that nothing is better than something? It’s pretty ridiculous when I put it that way. Don’t you think?
Ladies, I know the burden of the should’s can lay heavy on our shoulders. Many women in our churches look to us for guidance and as an example of how to spend time with God, and when we are not living up to our own “should” it can be pretty defeating. But, what if we as pastor’s wives led differently? What if we led from a vulnerability of our struggle to be in the Word, and a persistent spirit to grab whatever we can, whenever we can? What if we could tell others from experience that as we consistently choose to use even 5 minutes to connect with God, our desire for His presence grows over time?
Let’s say goodbye to perfectionism, pick up whatever-sized Bible study fits life today, and see how God shows up.
I think as we do this, we’ll find our hunger grow for more of His Word and less of what never satisfies. We might just find ourselves enjoying the king-sized times sooner than we thought possible.
Do you relate to this struggle? Do you tend to lean toward an “all or nothing” approach to time with God, or a “get it while I can” mindset?
Any tips or stories to share along this topic?
Published March 18, 2015