A Question

Has anyone ever asked you a question that stopped you right in your tracks?

I’ve been asked two in the last week.
One I can’t share about. It’s too personal. And it destroyed a piece of my heart.
But the other I can share about. And it grounded me.

“What’s something you’re doing right now that’s solely for you?”

I stared, blankly, then blinked and smiled at a loss for words.

“Name three things for me. Three things you’re doing to grow personally or that are building you up in life or are simply just for you.”

Her eyes were so intent, so compassionate and knowing.

“I can’t think of anything…” I sputtered out.

“What about your time with the Lord? Is that for you?”

I opened my mouth, realizing something profoundly wrong with how I’d been operating. “No…it’s not.”

“Then who is it for?” She asked, smiling but confused.

“Well…partly for me…but partly so that I can help other people. My students, my friends…”. I trailed off, instantly knowing I’d lost sight of the purpose behind my personal time with the Lord.

She shook her head, “I’m going to challenge that. Your time with the Lord needs to be for you, for your personal growth and relationship with Him. It’s not for anyone else. Anything that comes out of your time with Him, anything that blesses other people because of your time with Him, is simply an overflow. But your time with Him needs to be for you and you alone.”

There are many words I could write. Words about life and its complexity and how it brought me to the place of having no other answer to her question than, “I don’t know”. But those words would be cheap. They would be an effort to make myself feel good or look good.

Instead I think I’ll stay silent, eat my portion of humble pie, and push into making my quiet times what they once were: times meant only for myself and my Creator. He has been there, forever and always, the best Lover of my soul. And He deserves for me to make my time with Him just that: my time with Him. One-on-one. No one else.

And at some future time, when I’ve thought through and understood more myself, I’ll come back to the topics of selfishness and pride. I’ll come back to my realization of how pride is often disguised as selflessness.

So for all of you out there, especially those of you in ministry: why do you spend time with the Lord? Who is it for? What purpose does it serve?


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