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2014_01_19 Shema

When you run like I do, like most people do these days, far too often you look and wonder, “when am I supposed to get all this stuff done?” Schoolwork on top of business, homeschool on top of Bible study, and we’re not even going to talk about the “stack” of books piling up waiting to be read. Then there’s the housework that pours out of a never ending faucet, covering every inch of the day. Before too long you are taking extremes trying to get it all done, like not sleeping or not eating…or not praying.

About a month ago, I was challenged while studying through James 4:13-15 to hand the planning of my day over to God during my morning time and let Him dictate my schedule each and every day. It has been quite an enlightening experience to say the least, but the thing that got me the most was all the stuff that kept getting added to my list! Finally one morning, after playing the “good soldier” role just one too many days in a row, I asked God that very question. “When am I supposed to get all of this done?”

His answer…“From Shema to Shema”.

The Shema is a prayer based on Deuteronomy 6:4-9. There are also two other parts to the prayer based on Deuteronomy 11:13-21 and Numbers 15:37-41. It is said once in the morning and once in the evening, both times during daylight hours. For me I typically mark them as 7AM and 7PM {though for many they are 6AM and 6PM}. What God was telling me in effect was that everything He was giving me to do could be done between 7AM and 7PM.

Well week after week I have worked my fingers to the bone trying to make that Shema to Shema, each week doing a little bit better than before but never quite making it. Last week I cried out to my Abba in confusion and despair wondering how on earth He could expect this of me. I was behind on one study, trickling along on another, and a few things around the house were in a pitiful state. What was I doing wrong?

Then the Day of Preparation came last week. I had three new classes, all with writing assignments due by midnight on Shabbat, meaning if I was going to keep Shabbat I had to get them done by 7PM on Friday…this on top of the cooking for the weekend and the cleaning in preparation for the Holy Day. All I could do was pray and push, push and pray.

God was silent that day. He gave me none of His usual encouragements and revelation…He was just there. Yet I finished…EVERYTHING! And I finished by 7PM! I didn’t cut corners. I didn’t do things half way. I did everything just the way it needed to be done, as if I wasn’t on a time crunch. It wasn’t until the candles were lit and the sun had set that God spoke.

“From Shema to Shema” was all He said.

And I knew…instantly I knew. All of the little things throughout the day that suck up seconds, that break momentum, that knock you off track…those are the things that extend your day beyond what it is supposed to be. It doesn’t have to be big things either. I rarely watch anything on my TV set, DVDs included, and if I do it’s as I’m falling asleep at night. I’m not one for idle chatter, so I don’t talk much on the phone at all. I don’t play video or online games. Yet and still there are TONS of little mismanagements of time eating away at my productivity. The biggest one being the casual way I go about my duties. Proverbs 31:17 says, “She sets about her work vigorously; her arms are strong for her tasks.” That’s what I did differently that Day of Preparation. It was a race…and I ran it like it was a race! And because I ran it like it was a race…I WON!

That is the challenge for this week. “…let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us, fixing our eyes on Jesus, the pioneer and perfecter of faith. For the joy set before him he endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God. Consider him who endured such opposition from sinners, so that you will not grow weary and lose heart.” Let’s work vigorously on all the tasks He lays before us and run this race with Passion and Heart!

I pray you strength and focus abundant beloved! Shalom!~

Surrendered to Him~
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