[CF Devotionals]  2012-03-06 - Change of Pace

Isaiah 43:19 "See, I am doing a new thing…." (NIV)

Through the years of our marriage, Richard and I have taken many vacations – from Hawaii - to a primitive cabin in the mountains, where we were instructed to even protect indoors food from bears. Normally we are inclined to visit and stay in natural areas, and avoid "touristy" attractions. But since we lost our beloved dog Pierre – a family member who traveled with us on about fifty vacations. It isn't the same without him at our regular places, so we were looking for a change of pace. On our most recent holiday, we went to some of the most "touristy" and kitschy places in the Carolinas - and we thoroughly enjoyed it. It was a change of pace, and a lot of fun.

Sometimes our spiritual lives can benefit from a "change of pace," as well. Side note: I'm not talking about changing churches; I think that though occasionally it's God's calling, but it is always something that should be done very carefully and slowly - and a decision that isn't to be taken lightly. After all, as God's word teaches us, our fellow church members are "family, and everything we do or don't do in the church affects others spiritually and emotionally. Church membership is a serious decision. We should make this decision not as a "what is here for me" consumer, but rather as a "where and how does God want to use me" disciple?

Having clarified that, sometimes, especially if we have been Christians for many years, the Bible stories and sermons can become old-hat to us, and the things we say and sing in church can become "rote." Devotional times can become like "chores," instead of joyous fellowship with God.

But there is so much we can do, in order to keep our spiritual lives fresh. We can try doing our Bible study with a different version of the Bible, giving us a new perspective; we can even use our computers or smart phones in our daily worship times. 2012 is a wonderful time, with so many options for study and worship, probably more than in the history of the world. We can have worship times with some of the hymns in our church's hymnbook, preferably some that aren't sung often. If we have prayed in the morning for all our life, we can try at night instead. There are no "rules" about such things, not from God anyway (though some people try to clamp legalistic conditions on their church members).

I encourage you to shake things up, just a little bit, in your spiritual lives, to keep them fresh. If you ask God, He'll give you ideas.

[email jan] Jan