The Upper Room devotional reflection for Sunday, May 29, 2022 comes to us from Leonora “Lee” Smith of North Carolina.
9 Then Nehemiah the governor, Ezra the priest and teacher of the Law, and the Levites who were instructing the people said to them all, "This day is holy to the Lord your God. Do not mourn or weep." For all the people had been weeping as they listened to the words of the Law. 10 Nehemiah said, "Go and enjoy choice food and sweet drinks, and send some to those who have nothing prepared. This day is holy to our Lord. Do not grieve, for the joy of the Lord is your strength." 11 The Levites calmed all the people, saying, "Be still, for this is a holy day. Do not grieve." 12 Then all the people went away to eat and drink, to send portions of food and to celebrate with great joy, because they now understood the words that had been made known to them. Nehemiah 8:9-12 NIV
“A New Perspective”
When I retired, I was determined to stay busy. I had ample time, and I viewed it as an opportunity to serve God by giving back to others. But I kept myself too busy. For a few years I was fine running from one activity or meeting to another, but then I became plagued with discontentment – even a deep feeling of sadness. I didn’t feel joy, and I didn’t know why. After all, wasn’t I serving God?
Surprisingly, my perspective changed during the pandemic when all of us were forced to slow down or stop. I began to appreciate simple things like birds singing in the morning and watching the beauty of Spring unfold. Most important, I discovered that in all my busyness, I had been neglecting quiet time with God. No wonder I felt such heaviness and sadness! I’m making some positive changes now. None of us is guaranteed tomorrow, so I’m focusing on activities that bring me joy as I serve others. I guard my meeting time with God every morning, and that helps me rejoice in each day no matter what may come my way.
Sometimes “busyness” gets in our way, especially it can get in the way of staying in touch with God. Everyone spends time with God in an individual way. For many, it is quiet time with a devotional publication each day. For others, this time might best be spent in a quiet walk in the woods or through their neighborhood or it might be special time with a good friend. Lee Smith reminds all of us that however we spend special time with God, we should “guard” those moments in order to empower our service to others.
I encourage you to consider how you spend special time with God, and commit to “guarding” that time.
Heavenly Father, help us always to seek your first. Thank you for the joy we find in it. Amen.
--Leonora “Lee” Smith
Someone experiencing Burnout.
Thought for the Day:
Today I will seek God first.
This is the day that the Lord has made; let us rejoice and be glad in it.
Psalm 118:34 (NRSV)