Monday, February 13, 2017
reorienting your day
St Basil today talks about how important it is for us to spend time with God, in A Year with the Church Fathers.
He tells us that if we put God first, we will find everything else falling into place in our lives. He even goes so far as to say that we will experience "unbroken prosperity". He does back off of that in the next sentence though, when he adds "even if our efforts don't realize our hopes in this life...".
But what is he getting at? Well, what he says is true in the big picture. When we put God first, it puts us in the right frame of mind. It reminds us to be honest, generous, hard working, and to put others first. When we do these things, we start to see all kinds of positive changes in our lives. Relationships become healthier, our home life improves, and we become better workers at our jobs. That's no guarantee that everything will be awesome, because we live in a fallen world where others are selfish, employers don't always recognize hard work, and home life can even be a challenge when we treat our families the best way possible. But it DOES mean that those parts of our lives (all parts of our lives) will be better than they would have been otherwise.
And, as St Basil goes on to say, the teachings of the Holy Spirit are a rich treasure for ages to come. That is to say, besides the earthly good that putting God first causes, we are also making our "treasure" in His kingdom even greater. Without thinking of gold or crowns or anything physical, it's pretty obvious that when we invest our lives in other people, our reward in heaven will be that much greater.
Now, putting God first doesn't necessarily mean spending time with Him first thing in the morning. For some, this is the best option. For people like me, however, it would be silly. I'm not a morning person. If I got up early to have a "quiet time" with God, I would just be unhappy and grumpy and would not be able to give Him my good and full attention. So the way I put Him first is by spending time with Him in the evening. I take a prayer walk every day and share my life with Him. This is what works for me. It might be different for you... it probably will. We are all created differently, and so our relationship with Him will be a little different for each of us.
But however it works for you, find out how. And then spend time with Him each day. You will find that your life will become better and better... and will eventually become the life that He desires for you to have: the "you" that He created you to be.
God, thank You for calling us to put You first. Please help us figure out how to do that.