What an awesome feeling to have a pastor that truly feels like a friend. If there was a Facebook page ‘Eric Huffman’, I would be a fan. I would ‘like’ it.
Eric has recently started a blog (much to the delight of many of his church members and friends.)
Instead of blogging today, I’d like to copy and paste Eric’s blog from yesterday. We are on a horrific quest together, with others from the congregation. I am failing miserably in some areas. But I see glimpses of “hey; I did it!” during the day: focusing during the month of August on abstaining from the habitual distractions that disconnect us from God and from others.
Please bookmark/RSS feed/whatever you do to remember blogs: http://erichuffman.blogspot.com/
Meanwhile, here is a recent entry from the man I am honored to call pastor, and privileged to call friend.
from Left to My Own Devices
by Eric Huffman
Strange, how life works. Most days, I put enormous pressure on myself to produce. I start every day with a written list of things I absolutely must get done that day. Then I always sit down to tackle the list and immediately begin feeling overwhelmed by the sheer impossibility of doing all that in one day. This leads me down the familiar road of seeking distractions that soothe my frazzled nerves and assuage the guilt that’s surging in my soul – guilt about not being good enough to do what I set out to do.
I can be a real mess some days. And then, other days, epiphany…
Today was the latter. A light went off in my head, sparked, I suppose, by this intentional journey to resist distraction and embrace discipline. I still began the day with an enormous list of things to do, but instead of immediately lunging for facebook, twitter, my phone, or the latest headlines, I decided to read.
First, the Bible. I did the old trick where you flip through and stop on a random page to see what mystical message the Word of God has for you today. Usually I land in some obscure place like Leviticus or Numbers and the Word of God reminds me not to sleep with goats or offer my children as sacrifices to the dark Lord Molech (Lev. 18).
This time was different. This time the random page-flip led me to Matthew 6. Maybe it was luck. Or the Holy Spirit. Or maybe it’s because the Sermon on the Mount is the part of scripture that I read most often and the book’s binding is well-worn at Matthew 6. Whatever the case, I was stopped in my tracks by one familiar verse:
Strive first for the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well. (6:33)
I’ve heard it (and preached it) a hundred times, but never quite like I heard it this morning. I’ve always considered striving first for the kingdom of God to be a matter of the heart, a way of prioritizing your life. But today I wonder… What if this is more than a matter of the heart… What if striving first for the kingdom of God is really a matter of time… not just a spiritual reality, but a chronological one as well?
I wondered if Jesus meant that before you try to do everything else you want to do in life, you should spend some time with God, first.
The rest of the morning, with the infamous list staring at me from my desk, I was with my God. Reading. Praying. Communing. I read another chapter of scripture. I revisited some of my favorite books by Parker Palmer and C.S. Lewis, and every time the temptation arose to open my computer, check my phone, or go find someone who can validate my worth, I forced myself to remain with God. And I remembered how God validated me a long time ago.
After a while, I got to work. And, funny thing, when the day was over, my list was complete.