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Tuesday, October 11, 2005

1. “freetime”, leisure and quiet-time

Sorry for not posting for a while. I have been so busy that blogging has fallen by the wayside. All things related to work, teaching Sunday School, Introduction to Christian Ethics, running our Harvest Hope agency and all other family matters in between have been keeping me busy.

I am reading a book on prayer (among so many others) called "Alone with God" by Dr. John MacArthur. I intend to post my thoughts stemming from my Bible reading and supplimental reading from the book. Here is the first installment:
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Free time and the ways it disappears was the subject about which I was going to write. Stepping back to consider the matter, I suddenly realize that "free time" is illusionary. What I mean is that "free time" should not exist--the concept is a cultural phenomenon. Theologically speaking, time and its stewardship should be theocentric (God-centered) and each moment should be filled with God-ward thoughts. This is one principle of the Sabbath.

Free-time is threatened because we have tried to compartmentalize time itself from God and try to save a slice of time as our very own to do with as we please. Considering what one may or want to do in leisure-time, the reflexive consideration is about those things that consume too much of our time. Somehow we are to have "God time" on the list: does it fit into the beginning or end of the schedule? Should I have quiet and prayer time in the cobwebs of the percolating dawn hours, or just before I pass out at dark:30?

Makes one wonder: whatever happened to the Sabbath?

Another question: Should 2 hours and 40 minutes of each day be tithed?

John MacArthur reminds us that each waking moment should be prayerful, as one cannot pray in the unconsciousness of sleep. On the other hand, Charles Spurgeon once commented that our minds should be so God-directed that, in the event of sleep our first waking moment should be as if our sleep was accomplished in prayer.

Getting our heart set on God has nothing to do with how much free time we have or not. Nor should it depend on our leisure time--except for this: free time and leisure time are my idols. I am convinced that in our current mind-set, the Sabbath has been twisted and reshaped into this other time-slot bezerker.

Does it really matter that I am a morning or evening person when the Bible makes no distinction? What is clear is that the day was made for waking and the night for sleeping. A more precise question could be, “does my alertness really influence the quality of quiet time and prayer?” Possibly, but this should not matter as now alertness becomes an excuse.

The true questions are: is my heart God-set? What is my priority in Christian living? The answers to these reveal both who and what is most important to me.

The sad reality: I don't live out God-centeredness well because I am a practicing humanist.

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