Never Off the Clock with God
Oh, how we love to be off the clock! What that usually means is we can kick back, relax. No push to achieve. No need to impress anyone. Bring out the old t-shirts, the loafers and the sweat pans. No need to even look good.
Sometimes with this moment of relaxation comes a slippery slope. We talk about comfort foods. This would be the setting, especially if we have come out of a tense, high-pressure scene.
What usually comforts are things from an earlier time in our lives, even from childhood—understandably, hopefully a time of fewer high-pressure circumstances. I’m aware that there are those for whom nothing of their childhood comforts their adult selves. But I’m speaking of the vast majority of just regular folks whose work calls for increasingly longer spurts of energy, with little nostalgic pit stops in between. The normal working person’s cycle is intensely demanding with these little oases of refreshing.
As we make every effort at rejuvenating ourselves, I’m wondering how low do we allow ourselves to go? Do we forego all restraint? Do we eat too much and more than our bodies require. Do we drink too much too fast? Do we talk too much, indiscriminately revealing our deepest thoughts? Do we overstep the bounds of decency, convention, humility, prudence, good judgment?
How can we allow ourselves to unwind without just letting go of all constraints? We do know that many of the boundaries are set for our own good! In fact, what we allow ourselves to do in our down times has the potential of destroying all we work toward when we are “on.”
I’m sitting in the Las Vegas airport where hoards of travelers are flooding off the planes to hit what many refer to as “sin city.” How many stories have we heard of persons totally losing control in Vegas? I’m not just referring to gambling, which has its own addictive pullings, but why does our location give us license to behave in ways we never would “at home”?
You may not be a gambler, but you are not off the hook. Spring break, or summer break for that matter! Vacations. Bachelor/bachelorette parties. Boys’ and girls’ night out. Fishing trips. Poker night. Shopping sprees. Boat excursions. Or just kicking it with your buds.
I guess that’s what self-discipline is all about. It’s not just letting go when we get a little time off. We must think we are isolated and no one, or even God, will know. When God shows us how we should live, He’s not trying to cramp our style. When we get some time off we need to remember we aren’t “out of sight.” We may be off the work clock, but God doesn’t have one set of standards for our up time and another for our down. He remains the same, and what he hopes for us is constant.
God is never off the clock. Or more correctly, God is the Creator of Time for our use. He is beyond the structure of time. Therefore the essence of who we are, and our character is with Him in that place where there are no clocks. Let’s hope that our times when we are not having to struggle to provide basic needs for our families will be times of refreshing without overindulgence in anything that diminishes the character we have been working hard to build. Doing the right thing is always timely.
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