"Our spirituality will increase, I believe, not necessarily as we spend more time with Jesus but as we let him spend more time with us, in our daily activities. We tend to compartmentalize our lives, or divide them up, into seperate little cubby holes labeled "family," "church," "gardening," and so on. I think we sometimes have the mistaken notion that religion is like a special room in our house. We go into this room when we need to "do" religion. After all, we cook in the kitchen, we entertain in the living room, we wash in the bathroom, we sleep in the bedroom, and we "do" religion in this spiritual room. You know what's wrong with that view of the religious life? It means we can walk out of that roon and close the door behind us. It means that we have compartmentalized our lives so that religious experience is just one cubby hole out of many. It also means that we spend most of our time in other rooms. And we feel guilty because we keep hearing that it should be the most important room in the house and we should spend most of our time there. Does this sound just the tiniest bit familiar?
Instead, perhaps we should think of our spiritual lives, nor as a separate room, but as the paint on the walls of all the rooms, or maybe a scent in the air that drifts through all the rooms-the way a fragrance of spaghetti sauce or baking bread has a way of drifting through all of the rooms of the house, becoming part of the very air we breathe. Our spiritual lives should BE our lives, not just a separate compartment in our lives.
Let me put it another way: suppose the Savior comes to visit you. You've rushed around and vacuumed the guest room, put the best sheets on the bed, even got some tulips in a vase on the dresser. Jesus looks around the room, then says,"Oh, thank you for inviting me to your home. Please tell me about your life."
You say,"I will in just a minute, but something's boiling over on the stove, and I need to let the cat out."
Jesus says,"I know alot about cats and stoves. I'll come with you."
"Oh, no,"you say. "I couldn't let you do that." And you rush out, carefully closing the door behind you.
And while you're turning down the stovw, the phone rings, and then Jason comes in with a scrape on his elbow, and the visiting teacher supervisor calls for your report, and then it's suppertime, and you couldn't possibly have Jesus see that your don't even have placemats, for Pete's sake, and someone forgot to turn on the dishwasher so that you're eating off paper plates, and then you to have to drive Lynne to her basketball game. So by the time you get back to the room where Jesus is still patiently waiting for yiu, you're so tired that you can barely keep your eyes open-let alone sit worshipfully at Jesus' feet to wait for those words of profound wisdom and spiritual power to wash over you, to make you different, to make everything else different-and you fall asleep whispering, "I'm sorry. I'll try to do better. I'm so sorry."
...So do you really think you're shielding him by keeping the door closed while you're throwing paper plates on the table and sending Chrissie off to wash her hands for a second time? Do you really think he doesn't know? Doesn't understand? Wouldn't laugh and help?
But he will stay in that room if you put him there. Do you know why? Because if one constant in the universe is the unfailing love of the Savior, the other great constant is his unfailing respect for human agency. He will not overify your will, even for your own good. He will not compel you to accept his help. He will not force you to accept his companionship. He leaves you free to choose.
I beg you to open the door and let him out of that room. Give him your whole heaet, all the lieces, and let him heal you.... That means we must live our lives as Savior-focused individuals. Jesus doesn't call you to abandon Jason's scraped elbow when you come unto him. He calls you to bandage Jason's scraped elbow as a Savior-focused mother. Let him be with you as you banfage Jason's scrap. Let him join in the conversation over those soggy paper plates. Let him carpool with you, fill out the quarterly budget with you, attend that sales seminar with you, be with your mother when the doctor tells her the diagnosis.
...We need him, and he is ready to come to us, if we'll open the door and let him in."
Chieko N. Okazaki- Lighten up!