It’s been said people they could tell you what’s important in your life by looking at your calendar and your checkbook. Times have changed. Many people no longer keep checkbooks. They pay by credit card and hope to have the money for that one big payment at the end of the month. Sometimes they make it, sometimes they can’t. As to calendars, we may keep the barebones of a calendar online, but with so much happening in cyberspace, the truth is that instead of looking at people’s calendars, they should look at their browsing history. We need to change that old saying so that we understand that the way to tell what’s important in someone’s life is to look at their credit card bills and their browsing histories.
The important thing both sayings relay to us is that the key to understanding people is knowing how they spend their time. If you want to influence your children to become like you, you need to spend time with them, although, as Harry Chapin reminds us, when we don’t spend time with them, they become like us too. Time spent with others is an investment in who you are and in who they are. Remember when your parents were careful about who you chose as friends? They realized that the time you spend with people shapes who you are. In the New Testament days, a teacher spent time with his students. They lived together. They ate together. They walked together. The final exams were all practical because they were lived out. Perhaps this helps us understand the comments of Jesus to two men who would follow Him. “’Come,’ he replied, ‘and you will see.’ So they went and saw where he was staying, and they spent that day with him. It was about four in the afternoon.” (John 1:39)
Andrew was one of those two. Perhaps he didn’t realize that this simple visit would become a life-changing event. Perhaps he didn’t realize that Jesus was calling him to a life time commitment. But that’s what happened. And Andrew was excited about that. It didn’t take long for Andrew to recognize who Jesus really was. Sure, John had identified Jesus as the “Lamb of God who takes away the sins of the world” but it was one thing to hear it from John. It was another to experience His presence. Andrew understood who Jesus was because he spent one day with Him and he couldn’t keep the news to himself. He began to go out and tell people about Jesus, beginning with his brother Simon. You may know him as Peter. Andrew dedicated the rest of his life to following Jesus and telling others about him. According to tradition, he spread the gospel in the area of Ukraine, Romania, and Western Russia.
For some reason, we aren’t as excited about sharing the amazing good news about Jesus anymore. Oh, we go to church on Sunday. If people ask, we may explain why. We’ve lost the sense of wonder – the sense of awe. When we first turned to Jesus we probably told people, but as time has gone on, we’ve “toned it down.” Maybe the problem is that we don’t spend enough time with Him. Maybe the problem is that by not spending enough time with Him, we forget how much He loves people – all people. Other things crowd Jesus out of our schedule: sometimes it’s church, other times it’s work. Perhaps we focus so much on family activities that we forget we need to spend time with Jesus. Perhaps, even, it’s social media that drags you away from spending time with God. The truth is that when we do things right, we’re spending time with God no matter what else we’re doing. He should be leading us at church and at work. He should be strengthening and leading us as we spend time with family. He should be walking with us as we spend time on social media or with other friends. Acknowledge His presence and spend time with Him in all you do.
Lord, remind me that You are here with me all the time. Let me revel in that time with You.