As followers of Christ, we have both been on our journey of faith for over 5 years. To some, this seems like very little time. To us, we barely remember the time before we devoted our lives to the Lord.
The everyday can become mundane, however. The fire and drive we felt as new followers of Christ is hard to continue with the same vigor and passion when diapers need to be changed, emails need to be answered, remodels take up evenings, family issues arise, and more. We both have experienced waves in our spiritual walk – times where we felt God standing beside us and times where we wondered if He was still there. Of course, it was us that had wandered, not Him.
And with that – with the continual challenge of our hearts to draw closer to Him amidst the mundane, we have noticed some key aspects of both of our lives that must be in place.
First, reading and praying. This is an obvious one, and one that we all hear as believers, all the time. Let’s be honest though – our devotion time can grow shorter with little children around. When sleep is limited, concentration is lacking as well. But at the end of the day, we notice how the lack of time spent with God has shortened our temper, took our mind off of Him. In which case we are not living the Gospel like we should be.
Second, hymns playing. When gentle music can be heard in the background as we go about our day, the songs enter our hearts, more than we are aware of. Soon the songs are memorized, and subconsciously we find ourselves humming them throughout our day. It’s a wonder the affect this has on our minds and hearts. We literally LIVE the Gospel so much more, when our hearts are humming praises to Him.
Journaling is huge. Whether it be journaling our prayers, journaling our devotions, or in Tami’s case, journaling things to be thankful for, writing down our thoughts allows us to concentrate more on our words, and inscribe them upon our hearts. Writing down things to be thankful for has allowed Tami to live with eyes open. To notice the little blessings God has given her, things she would not have been aware of before.
Finding Joy. These words alone are cornerstones of East to West, and we aim to live these out daily. The Gospel itself is Joy. When we choose Joy in all circumstances, we choose Jesus. How beautiful is that? We are not saying it’s easy, or that we are required to be happy all the time. But that’s not what Joy is. Joy is knowing that no matter what trial, circumstance, injury, etc. that comes our way, we have Jesus by our side, and a home waiting for us in Heaven.
And so, when these four elements are in place in our lives, we notice how much easier it is to live out the Gospel, and how easily the Gospel becomes woven into every facet of our days. We can serve others better, volunteer easier, participate in small group and fellowship with more joy, and love bigger. Let’s always challenge each other to dive deeper into our relationships with Him, and keep the Gospel in the center of our everyday, shall we?