Thursday, January 17, 2013

Praxis - Think like Jesus - my calendar?

     Although my smart phone, my laptop, and my secretary all have calendars, I still carry a little black pocket calendar on which I scribble things I need to do.  What’s the meaning of all this ink?  Is it an albatross? or evidence that I must be somebody, since I have so much to do?

     What makes it onto my calendar?  Things to do?  Things I fear I’ll forget?  Who decides?  Am I a victim of what barges into my schedule?  Am I the controller of my own time – and destiny?

   Do I ever jot down, Be still and pray? or Block out time to find a service opportunity? or Reach out to the person nobody else likes?  If a stranger performed an analysis on my pocket calendar, would they discover any evidence of God? or holiness? or humble service?  How do I account for the time God has given me?

   For the final 57 years of his life, Wesley kept an “exacter diary,” in which every hour of every day he jotted down little notations of how he had lived during that past hour with respect to the grace of God.  Have I been faithful? or grateful?  Did I harbor dark thoughts? or pass up an opportunity to do good?  Imagine this kind of stellar devotion to God, working as diligently as possible to live a life that in some way was appropriate to the immense glory of God’s grace!

   Wesley understood, and would teach us, that religion is not “the mere saying of a few prayers, something superadded now and then to a careless or worldly life,” but rather “a constant habit of soul, the renewal of our minds in the image of God.”

   This Sunday we’ll be handing out simplified “exacter diaries” you may use during the week.  Try this!  It will take a little time, of course – but it might be the one truly valuable entry into your calendar, whoever keeps the thing.  Click here to view, download or print the short, simplified version to use each day; and here is the fuller, week-long spiritual diary.