Wednesday, June 01, 2011

Recovery Devotional 362 Robbed of Relational Time

JMD Devotional 362 Psalm 127 Robbed of Relational Time

EXCEPT THE Lord builds the house, they labor in vain who build it; except the Lord keeps the city, the watchman wakes but in vain. It is vain for you to rise up early, to take rest late, to eat the bread of [anxious] toil--for He gives [blessings] to His beloved in sleep. Behold, children are a heritage from the Lord, the fruit of the womb a reward. As arrows are in the hand of a warrior, so are the children of one's youth. Happy, blessed, and fortunate is the man whose quiver is filled with them! They will not be put to shame when they speak with their adversaries [in gatherings] at the [city's] gate.

Focus: verse 2: It is vain for you to rise up early, to take rest late, to eat the bread of [anxious] toil--for He gives [blessings] to His beloved in sleep.

This is the formula for success in the Western world: suck it up and drive on. In our highly competitive work place, fear motivates people to stretch their workday at the expense of their relational life. Work encroaches the lunch hour so one more report gets done and filed away (where it may never be read). Personal maintenance slips as more of the corporate machine consumes our day, we leave home early and come home late. Every man rationalizes that he does this for his family: but what his family needs is him: his interaction, his presence, his vitality. There has always been tension between the needs of workers and management’s expectations: you have to push back or be consumed. We need to leave work at work to protect the best part of our lives. Work is not our life, and it does not define us. Where does a “quiver full of arrows” come from? Intimacy is not just sex; it is a deep connection with those around you. We are relational beings, and God created us for relationship.

Dear God,
I hate coming home like an empty shell, a spent cartridge, a fraction of the man You created. My wife, my friends, my Church, my life deserves better. If I am to be consumed may it be with You, my Lord and my God. If I burn out, they will find another to replace me, so why do I sacrifice so much? I am driven by fear: redirect my drives: help me to crave godly intimacy. Help me to slow down to be personal with my friends, to be a friend in deed, to listen intently. I can focus on relationships instead of work because You are in control of the Universe, I am under God and not under man.

All (but*) quotes are from The Amplified Bible, published by
the Lockman Foundation. (AMP)
Copyright © 1954, 1958, 1962, 1964, 1965, 1987 by The Lockman Foundation
*New International Version (NIV)
Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984 by International Bible Society
**Scripture taken from The Message. Copyright © 1993, 1994, 1995, 1996, 2000, 2001, 2002. Used by permission of NavPress Publishing Group. (Eugene Peterson's easy-to-read, contemporary Scripture translation)

I originally produced these blogs between 2006 and 2007, which were then published in my book, JMD Recovery Devotionals. In 2010, I am sending these out to a few people as I review them and see if my point of view has changed.

If you know of someone who would like to subscribe to my daily devotional, please forward.
Short, concise, thought-provoking.

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