“Enter his gates with thanksgiving and his courts with praise; give thanks to him and praise his name. For the LORD is good and his love endures forever; his faithfulness continues through all generations.”
It used to be that the day after Thanksgiving here in the U.S. was called Black Friday and was the biggest shopping day of the year with lots of bargains for those who wanted to get a jumpstart on their Christmas shopping. However, Black Friday no longer starts early on Friday morning but actually starts on Thursday – on Thanksgiving. For the last several years, stores have been opening a little earlier and a little earlier for “Black Friday” until now it should be called Black Thursday. It is encroaching on family time and what traditionally is a holiday focused on family, food and being thankful.
Don’t get me wrong, I am all about a bargain and have been Black Friday shopping many years – in the early hours starting at about 5 am while the rest of my family slept. However, as the advertisements bombarded me on t.v., email and in the mail, it made me think of all the ways our world encroaches upon our boundaries. It isn’t something that happens overnight, but slowly begins to creep over the line.
The same thing happens to us when we allow the things of this world to encroach on our time with our families and with our God. Slowly, little by little, we say “yes” to the things of the world and become so busy that we have very little time for God. How many of us want to forego church on a Sunday morning to sleep in because we are exhausted from our week? It is a pretty sad testament of our faith when we aren’t willing to give up an hour or so to honor and glorify the One who created us.
There are lots of good things for us to be involved in and to do, but our priorities need to be steadfast – God first and family second, everything else should be lower on the priority list. Somewhere along the way we have lost sight of the fact that everything we have and everything we are is because of the grace of God; if we truly understood this, we would be anxiously awaiting any opportunity to praise Him and give Him thanks.
What things in your life do you need to say “no” to in order to say “yes” to spending time with the Lord?