Laughter, Tears, and Our Teen Years, by McKennaugh
I used to own a book a few years ago that was called something like The One-Minute Bible. It was a devotional, and said that it would take you all the way through the Bible in a year. Each devotion was only supposed to take a minute. Sixty seconds. Of course, it couldn’t really take a person through the whole Bible. It skipped around quite a bit and left out numerous parts. But, still, it was a start. There was nothing wrong with the book itself; it had the Word in it, fun tidbits, catchy quotes. It is the 60 seconds that, when I look back on it, bothers me. Lots of things creep into our lives advocating that they can hurry us through the Bible in record time. But why? Why the hurry?
Have you ever heard of a public school that decided their students were awful busy and thus only needed to go to each class for a minute before getting on the bus and rushing for home? I haven’t! But the world moves God down on their list of priorities until He only has—you guessed it—60 seconds of your time each day. Or less. We don’t think it’s important to spend time with our Creator.
We supposedly cannot support ourselves in this world without a proper education. Who hasn’t heard concerned adults fussing over the fact that if you don’t do this-and-that you won’t be able to get a respectable job, or go to college? No one seems to worry quite as much about our spiritual education. No one worries about the education that will bring about eternal success.
In a nation that often places God in the background and arms our front lines with the latest knowledge, we must be careful. People will be quick to urge you to sign your hours away to learn something “necessary”. I’m not saying that we don’t have to learn many things to be able to “fit into” this world… I’m saying that we need to place God before the other items in our lives. We need to give him more than 60 seconds. In fact, we are supposed to give our entire lives to him, not a moment of briefly scanning over a Bible verse. He wants us to be in action for Him; to be on fire for Him.
Not that many people will probably look at you like you’re nuts if you want to devote all your time to studying to become a lawyer. But it you say that you are going to take a plane to Africa and spend your days feeding children and ministering to broken hearts, I highly believe that responses will be less than enthusiastic. If you went to law school, you would spend years of your life preparing for your career and thousands and thousands of dollars worth of college fees—despite that, many a person will admire you for what you are doing. If you headed off to Africa there’s also a chance that you would also be spending thousands and spending years of your life centered around the cause—and, yes, there would be people who encouraged you, but, I believe, many would view your choice in a negative way; “Think of the money you will spend,” “You should consider yourself first,” “How will you support yourself?” “Are you sure that you should do this?” “I just don’t think…”
And why would we respond like that? Because our minds tend to think that we need to consider ourselves above all others. Above those in need. Above God. Indeed, this country is all about lending our time to the things that matter to us on this earth. We rarely focus on the eternal side of things. We would much rather spend time improving our own lives than giving it to God—after all, we’re human, right?
What if the children in America had to spend as many hours reaching out to others as they spent at their desks? (Wow, the world sure would be a different place!!) As homeschoolers, we (usually) have more time open and a more flexible lifestyle. Have you included time with God in your lifestyle? Does “time with God” mean sitting in a pew with your Bible open? Sometimes. I firmly think that it also means stepping out of your “comfort zone” and lending hands to others. After all, whatever we do to the “least of these” we do to our Savior. No matter how you decide to spend moments with God, just don’t reduce Him to a fleeting thought; don’t reduce His presence to 60 seconds a day.
McKennaugh Kelley (firstname.lastname@example.org) is sixteen years old. She lives in Troy, Pennsylvania with a handful of crazy, creative, but mostly wonderful little brothers.