Spending time with our Heavenly Father
Caterpillars … .
At one time, scientist Jean-Henri Fabre was consumed with the subject of caterpillars. Not just any worm or pupae however; it was the pine caterpillar that truly piqued his interest. Creatures that even now have ugly web-like sacks hanging from many a pine tree in Missouri. It was studying these pitifully ugly creatures, which spawned his Processionary Caterpillar Experiment.
Fabre found that the pine caterpillar processes one behind another. He had them in trails around sheds and the like; head-to-rear in a complete circle – unceasing. Their natural propensity to do this eclipsed every other desire.
The most telling of his experiments came when he had them process around their favorite food, a clump of pine needles. For six whole days these little fuzzy soldiers marched on in an endless circle – endless that is until broken from mass starvation – inches from a feast.
As followers of many pursuits, we tend to do this. We follow mindlessly (not necessarily aimlessly) the pursuit of the one before us. Our days can be spent squandering a gift placed before us that is precious and fragile.
Lately in my writings, journaling, and in Scripture study – I’ve been pondering the issue of time. Looking at what the Living Word says of this fleeting gift. From Ecclesiastes 3, as even popularized years ago by the rock group “The Byrds,” to Genesis 1, the Bible makes the passing of time an interesting twist in the story of God’s creation. But it also gives great instruction.
“Trust in the Lord, and do good; dwell in the land, and feed on His faithfulness. Delight yourself also in the Lord, and He shall give you the desires of your heart. Commit your way to the Lord; trust also in Him, and He shall bring it to pass. He shall bring forth your righteousness as the light, and your justice as the noonday. Rest in the Lord, and wait patiently for Him … ,” says Psalm 37:3-7.
As believers, we can easily go about the day – morning, noon and night – pursuing even worthwhile goals yet avoiding the nourishment and direction of the Holy Spirit. However, when we seek first His Kingdom, we are so deeply rewarded that everything seems to fall away. Later on, in Psalm 34, David pens this kingly observation:
“Wait for the Lord and keep His way. He will exalt you to inherit the land when the wicked are cut off, you will see it,” Psalm 37:34.
E.M. Bounds, Methodist pastor, writer and Missourian of 150 years ago warns us in our pursuits, “To be little with God is to be little for God.” This was a man who spent from 4-7a.m. pleading for the lost. He also took no appointments great or small that would interfere with this most important of daily appointments. What a worshiper.
Today, we have two negative tendencies, each as strong as the other. The first is to rush ahead of the Lord and His timing. The other is to procrastinate for fear of failure or bound in the need of physical perfection. Either restrains us from having the perfect timing of the Lord, and consequently the power given for a task by the Holy Spirit.
Stay in the presence of God – if you are restless, and out of His peace – wait on Him. If, however, you are in His Word and on your knees when the Lord says act: Act.
Then you are working under God’s power, and not your own. Norman Vincent Peale once remarked, “People who are really efficient seem to do things easily with a minimum of effort. In doing so, they release maximum power.” The greatest example of Peale’s observation is Jesus. Whether raising the dead or stopping the flow of blood by the mere touch of a garment, Jesus’ timing was contrary to the world’s. But it had more power than anyone had ever imagined because He was completely linked to the will of His Father. He was the will of His Father.
As you commit your time. See what the Lord has in store by spending time with Him. Instead of trying to find His will, find that you are the will of the Father. Psalm 31 says that our “time is already in His hands.” (John Francis is the Worship Specialist for the Missouri Baptist Convention and produces MoWorship, a monthly worship podcast available at www.mobaptist.org/worship.)