HEYYYY YALLLLL!!!! HAPPY 2016!
I know, it’s been FOREVER. But I’m back at it in full swing and excited to reconnect with you all this year.
Let’s get to it shall we?
In light of the new year, I know we’ve all set (or thought about) resolutions. I love the new year because it really does feel like a second chance at getting it right; whatever “it” is. While my resolutions are typically around eating healthier, working out, and saving money (you too, eh?), this year I decided to just focus on one thing and one thing only, my inbox. Yep, you read that right, my INBOX.
Let me explain.
If you know me, and if you’ve tried to reach out to me, then you know one thing is for certain, I SUCK at responding to messages. Text messages, voice messages, Facebook messages, Emails, ALL OF IT. Part of me wants to offer a ton of excuses ranging from my hectic traveling schedule to me being an awkward introvert who lacks the ability to comfortably “chat it up”, but none of those reasons suffice because at the end of the day my behavior has just been plain ol’ rude. So before I continue with tonight’s blog, let me take this time to seriously apologize to all those who have been impacted by my sheer laziness and untenable actions (or lack thereof I suppose). I am truly sorry.
So of course my only resolution this year is to respond to messages in a timely manner. Period. Not only is it rude, but I am also missing out on super important updates, opportunities, and encouragement from the people in my life.
And this got me thinking… How often are we neglecting to check the messages that God sends us on a daily basis? And not just check, but respond? While it may be a bit humorous to think about God sending us an actual email, the fact remains that God communicates with us every single day.I love John, chapter 8, verse 47, which offers “Whoever is of God hears the words of God. The reason why you do not hear them is that you are not of God.” What does it mean to not be “of God”? Perhaps part of that is simply NOT taking the time to actually read His word. Or neglecting to set aside time to meditate with Him and listening diligently to the messages He’s downloading into our spirit.
In the same way I will work to be more diligent in checking my inbox and responding accordingly, so too will I be more active in checking God’s messages. But how? What are the best practices in making sure I am successful?
Well first, experts suggest I use a tool to filter “junk mail”. If we’re honest, how have we allowed junk mail to cloud and crowd our inbox? In our relationship with God, how can we work to filter the spam of our lives? I don’t have an answer, but you better believe its something I’m thinking hard about. As I think on this, I am reminded however, of Proverbs 4:23 which instructs us to “Above all else, guard your heart, for everything you do flows from it.”
Another strategy is to prioritize your inbox according to task. For messages that require only a simple response in 60 seconds or less, experts suggest responding in that very moment. If it requires a little more thought or a complex task, move it to your “to-do” folder or list. Much like our relationship with God, sometimes the messages that God sends us only requires a simple response of “thank you” or “I got it!”. Whereas, in other instances His message requires a little more action on our part. After all, James 1:22 encourages, “Do not merely listen to the word, and so deceive yourselves. Do what it says.”
Finally, the last strategy I will employ in my efforts to have a cleaner inbox this year is to set aside time each day to actually manage it; an hour each day, solely dedicated to checking and responding to messages. Again, in our relationship with God, the first step is prioritizing Him; setting aside time each day to check in, listen for His voice, and respond accordingly. Mark accounts in chapter 1, verse 35, that “In the early morning, while it was still dark, Jesus got up, left the house, and went away to a secluded place, and was praying there.” Let us then look to Christ as the best example of how to make time for God, our Father.
Well friends, I’m off to go respond to a few of your messages lol. Catch you on the flip side 🙂
Until next week,