Blog from Kristy Engel….

The Walls We Build

Over the last several months, I’ve been doing a lot of praying and thinking about the walls that I’ve built between myself and God. Things that might generally be considered good, but somehow separate me from having a stronger relationship with God. What are some of those things? The obvious one for me is work. As a missionary working with health care and crisis around the world, there is an abundance of work to be done. I can get myself really worked up when I watch the news and think of all of the need around the world and how I could help. When I focus so much on the “doing” of my job, the needs of others around me and all of the preparation I need to do personally, it can get in the way of building a strong spiritual relationship with God.

Then there are other “busy” things that keep me from nurturing a relationship with God and therefore putting something between my time in prayer or study. I may be more focused on the relationships around me (friends and family) so much so that I am too tired at night or first thing in the morning to spend quiet time with God. It may be that I’m simply moving…moving from one obligation to another (doctor’s appointments, going to the gym, shopping, cooking, cleaning, errands). None of these things are bad in and of themselves…in fact, most are really GOOD things. But even when we fill our lives with good things, they can take the place of our time learning more about our creator and loving Father.

When we fill our lives with things that pile up in front of us and take away our space and time with God, we are building walls in our relationship. When we find ANY other thing more important than our relationship with God, we are building walls. If God is not at the top of your list of priorities…you’ve built a wall between the two of you.

It is really easy for us to claim we are loving God through WHAT we are doing in our lives…and it’s not untrue. What becomes a problem for many of us, though, is that we fill our lives with so many good things that need to be done and slowly, very slowly, God starts to move down on our list of priorities. One thing after another gets in the way of our time and energy to build our relationship stronger and pretty soon, devotions and prayer time no longer have space in our lives.

For those with children, please remember that they are watching you. Where you place your energy and time is teaching them the values they should hold onto. Although I grew up in a Christian home, I never remember seeing my parents make time for devotions and prayer. Now, they may have been doing it, but I simply didn’t have that model. It has been a struggle for me to make space in my life for this quiet time, even when I know it is good for me. I often wonder if I had seen this behavior modeled and encouraged if I would have an easier time today.

Friends, please consider what walls you have and be ready to tear them down. We are called to be salt and light in this world, but we must receive these things to give them away.