Finding God in a Dark Bathroom

601631_10152708652060643_280127811_nHudson had to go pee last Sunday. So we ran quickly at church to the bathroom. The lights were off because we were closing up and leaving, so he said “Dad I scared”. I of course turned on the lights, but I thought while using a urinal would be a good time to have a little talk.

So I told him we don’t need to be scared with mom and dad around. Then I told him that even better than that, you always have God with you. He loves you, and is with you even if things are dark, so we don’t need to be scared.

I thought I had done a great job explaining things, but little did I know Hudson would do an even better job. He said to me, “Oh yes daddy, God, I know him. We have him at our house, I do devotions with him” and he ran out of the bathroom.

Nothing as a dad, or a pastor makes me happier than little moments like that. In case though you are picturing me and Hudson sitting down and reading the Bible together having deep prayer moments, that’s not what it’s often like. It’s often like what every interaction with busy boys is like: loud, sometimes difficult, and sometimes frustrating. Hudson is often jumping around, getting out of the covers, singing, making car noises, playing with a car he snuck into bed, and most often not looking at our devotional book. But we press through and do it every night in spite of the ups and downs.

And as Hudson ran out of that bathroom saying, “I know God, we do devotions” I realized something. That the very rhythm and action of trying to lead him into a deeper relationship with God is in fact leading him into a deeper relationship. The point isn’t perfection, it’s perseverance. We might not get it right every night, but the very act of trying is leaving an impact.

I tell you this, because I don’t know if you’re at all like me, but sometimes faith is tough. Sometimes following Jesus isn’t easy, and sometimes it’s a struggle. Sometimes our nighttime routines are beautiful and wonderful. Sometimes they seem like an utter disaster. Sometimes I wonder if me reading our devotions to a jumping boy making car noises is having an impact – if it even matters. But what I realized on Sunday was that sometimes just sticking it out is succeeding. Sometimes the very act of us not giving up leaves a bigger impact than we might imagine.

So even if tonight goes rough, I’m not going to quit doing devotions, praying, and following Jesus with my little boy because it’s making a difference. Because on Sunday after months of up and down devotions, I’m so proud to share with you that Hudson told me that he knows God, he’s at our house, and we all do devotions together.

My Biggest Temptation…Each and Every Day…

“Let us leave a little room for reflection in our lives, room too for silence…Let us hear the Word of God in stillness and perhaps we will then come to understand it” – St. Augustine

Want to know what my biggest temptation is as a pastor? Want to know the one thing that I’m tempted to do everyday that would be the downfall of my ministry?

No it’s not something sensational. No it’s not something full of mystery and intrigue. It’s something everyday and ordinary.

My biggest temptation is to go to the office…and get to work.

Yep that’s my biggest temptation. My biggest temptation is to actually skip meeting with God, and get busy doing work for God. My temptation is to skip reading his Word, spending time praying, and get a lot of stuff done for God. Do you sense the irony and the problem with that?

The biggest factor in my relationship growing with God is spending time with him and reflecting on his Word. The problem is that seems so…inefficient. The problem is that it doesn’t seem to accomplish a lot, or change the number of things on my to-do list.

But that’s the temptation isn’t it? To see time spent with God as optional, as inefficient, as unnecessary, as not actually accomplishing things. But the type of change that happens through daily spending time with him isn’t instant. It’s long-term, it’s legacy building, it’s mentoring of the deepest sense. And it matters more than anything else. Nothing impacts your walk with God as much as spending time with God.

So now when I’m tempted to run and do ministry for God, I try to remember I’m really meant to do it with him. I try to remember that when I choose to stop doing things and be with Him.  It’s giving him space to do something in me and through me. I try to remember that time spent with God is the best way to spend my time.

So while I still get tempted to get to work…I’ve learned through enough failures that the work can wait. What can’t wait is the need for me to grow with God.

So today if you get tempted like I do, why not carve out some time, read a passage, reflect, pray, and pause. Take up the challenge and see if your day doesn’t go better by involving God in it…