A few days ago I caught sight of the 30/30 Challenge by Joyce Meyer. I have never read any of her books or participated in her devotionals, but my heart was immediately drawn to the challenge to study my Bible for 30 minutes a day for 30 days and see what God would tell me.
The reason I wanted to start this study was because I was feeling like a bad friend. It is so easy for me to forget the world around me, to lose focus on people in my life, and to focus only on what is immediately before me (usually Eloise and running). I am not sure if that is my introverted-ness, laziness, or just part of being a mom, but it isn't good. It is selfish and self-centered. Relationships need to be nurtured. Friendships require attention. Same with my relationship with my Lord. And I knew I was falling short.
I started my study in Proverbs because I remembered a verse in there about being a friend. I used Jason's Bible because mine was in the car. I found an unused journal and began my study, believing I knew what God would show me and that it would be related to what was currently on my mind.
Well, I'm on day 3 now, and while the Lord did get around to addressing my weakness, He did not start there. He started by giving me a word each time I opened my Bible. The first word was, "delight." My study in Proverbs 1 and 2 led me to Psalms 1:16 - "his delight is in the law of the Lord and on his law he meditates day and night." Proverbs 2 said I should look for his word as I would for silver and hidden treasure. I should seek him with all of my heart and delight in him and in his word. I should, quite possibly, delight in him MORE than my training, my workout routine, my fitness or a race PR...
In my next study God told me to trust. And that was the word he gave me. Trust. Proverbs 3:4-5 says, "Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge him and he will make your paths straight. Verses 23-26 of that chapter spoke to me also, and to the fears I have had for a long time. "Then you will go on your way in safety, and your foot will not stumble. When you lie down, you will not be afraid; when you lie down, your sleep will be sweet. Have no fear of sudden disaster or of the ruin that overtakes the wicked, for the Lord will be your confidence." I am to trust in my Lord because he is my confidence. I never realized just how powerful a request that would be until I had Eloise.
And today my words were to, "Pay Attention." It was a loving rebuke and it dealt with the feelings I had when I started the study. In Proverbs 4 it says, "Pay attention and gain understanding... pay attention to what I say; listen closely to my words... guard your heart..." These phrases jabbed me in the ribs a little and so did the study in Jason's Bible that corresponded with that chapter. It said we should live a "thoughtful life." We should pay attention to our spiritual health, our relationships, our passion for the Lord. These things require focus and attention, and I knew it was this I lacked. I knew it when I started the study.
It is so easy to look at myself sometimes and say, "Well, that's just the way I am." I'm an introvert. I'm not crazy about people because they complicate my life. It's okay not to have a lot of friends. They probably don't need me, they have plenty of friends already. I don't have the right words to say to help them... And blah blah blah, the list of excuses and reasons not to try goes on and on, convincing me I'm just fine the way I am. Words like "selfish" and "self-centered" aren't welcomed into my descriptions because they aren't desirable or acceptable when claiming to follow Christ.
I'm not sure why it took a 30/30 challenge to get my attention, but I am thankful I started this and I don't intend to conclude it in 30 days. I intend to make it a habit. I intend to yearn for it like I do for a good run, for a quiet moment, for sleep, for food. I intend to fill up on God's word and to put spiritual health above all other forms of it. In several places in Proverbs, I have read how God's wisdom is "health to the body." It makes me smile. It is what I have been seeking, only I haven't been looking in all the right areas.
Join me! Give this a shot. I'm only on day 3 and I have already been so blessed!