For as long as I can remember, I’ve always been really good about waking up in the morning when I have somewhere to be. I never overslept for school or sports practices, and I’ve never overslept for work. I’ve also never overslept when I had something exciting going on the next day, such as a vacation or trip of some kind. In short, I’ve always been good about waking up for things that are important or exciting to me.
On the flip side, I’m actually kind of terrible at waking up and staying awake when I don’t have somewhere to be or go, or something to do. Since getting married, I’ve gotten much better at this since I have someone physically there to keep me accountable (and annoy the heck out of me if I don’t get up), but prior to marriage, I was really, really bad. Like, sleeping-in-until-1pm bad. Granted, I was also staying up until four or five in the morning—a habit that’s also been kicked since marriage—so it’s not like I was sleeping 12 hours every night. It was (and is) just a discipline problem, a problem of self-control—one that appears in too many areas of my life.
[pullquote width=”300″ float=”left”]However, hard work didn’t save my life. Jesus did.[/pullquote]Allow this post to be a confession of sorts: I really struggle with self-control—something that is incredibly peculiar, seeing as how my subconscious is ruled by my constant desire to be in control, hence my severe obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD) I wrote about here. Unlike my OCD, however, my lack of self-control doesn’t show itself in what I would consider super destructive behavior. I don’t overindulge in Netflix or food or drink, but I also don’t push myself to exercise, either. I don’t spend my entire life on Facebook, but I spend a little too much time on there when I should be doing other things. I do read my Bible every day, but I don’t spend time alone with Him every morning like I want to, like I’ve been meaning to do for years. I never leave myself enough time in the morning; I only give myself enough time to get up, get ready, and get where I need to be.
Every single day, I consciously place spending time with God on the back burner. I choose to prioritize other things. I make this decision every morning when I snooze that extra ten minutes, and every night when I stay up later than I should and set my alarm for just enough time. By observing my routine, I’ve noticed that I idolize two things:
- Work. I idolize work. I always have. Both of my parents are unbelievably hard working, especially my father, so I’ve always valued work. My hard work has been rewarding on so many levels—two degrees, no debt, a really cool job—and it’s provided a lot of great experience.
However, hard work didn’t save my life. Jesus did.
- Myself. Obviously, I idolize myself. (Who doesn’t idolize herself?) This is, of course, the umbrella of my idolization; all of my idols come from the fact that I idolize myself. I idolize my time to do whatever I want. When I’m not working, I’m either doing a chore that needs to be done, or I’m doing something that makes me happy, such as watching or reading Lord of the Rings, Sherlock, or Harry Potter. When it’s not “work time,” it’s “me time.”
But I didn’t save my life. Jesus did.
If I only have “work time” and “me time,” that leaves no time for “Jesus time,” and that’s a problem I’ve been facing consistently for the six years I’ve been a Christian. If I always get myself up in the morning when I have something important going on, why can I not get myself up a half hour earlier to do something infinitely more important? When will I understand that “Jesus time” would actually fit perfectly into “me time”? When will I finally gain that discipline and become a good steward of the time I should be devoting to my Savior?
Lord, let Your jealousy for me become my jealousy for You. (And please feel free to annoy me until I get up—to discipline me like the child I am at Your feet.)
Natalie currently lives in the greater DC area with her husband, Andrew, where she works as a Technical Writer/Editor for a global IT company.