Day 37 of 40 days of devotion

Written by Cris Payne

I had a birthday recently, and when you reach my age (24 on Facebook, 96 on ChurchSuite!) it is a good time to reflect on how life is going. 40 Days of Devotion fits in nicely with this!

I gave my life to Christ aged 15 from an atheist background and was baptised at 16, my dad’s only comment being “you could have had a bath at home!” In my early days and as a student, I loved spending time studying the Bible and discussing it with friends, but as I started full time teaching and was very active in church youth work and worship ministry, time became tight, and I didn’t have time to spend in the Word. I always reasoned that once I got on top of the job, I’d have more time for Bible reading.

I married and had children – there were not enough hours in the day to spend time in the Word, but when the kids grew up, I’d have more time. They became teens and I picked up my career again and took up responsibilities in the church, so, time was still tight, but when I retired, there would be ample time.

I retired nearly 6 years ago, and still there never seems time to get stuck into the Bible.

I have realised that whatever stage of life I am in, there will never be time unless I make it a priority in my life and, to use an ‘in’ phrase, I’m ‘intentional’ about it. In January, I felt God was saying to me I needed to be more like Mary, who sat at Jesus’ feet and listened. I have always been more comfortable as a Martha, who rushed around doing and facilitating. I thought people were either Marys or Marthas, but I am realising you can be both. However, as a Martha, I can’t sit still and do nothing: I have to be productive.

I think I may have solved my dilemma. I will read a short passage in the morning, then I will walk for half an hour and meditate on it. Anglicans have a discipline called ‘recollective prayer’. The idea is that, every time your mind wanders, you ‘re-collect’ it! So if you see me wandering around the Kennedy Avenue estate muttering to myself, that’s what I’m doing!

The bonus is, I will also be a little fitter!

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