Connie Kendall is ditzy, energetic, and often pretty clueless of what’s really going on – but sometimes she does have some pretty good insights. 😉 There is an Adventure in Odyssey episode that has really stuck in my mind ever since I heard it. Little Jimmy Barclay was all grown up and had moved to the big city, and Connie came to visit him and see how he was doing. At first he tried to put on a show that he had a great job, was attending school and going to church, but eventually the truth came out that really he had a job taking photos for a sleazy magazine, was expelled from school because of his bad grades, had a bad girlfriend, and was not going to church. When Connie confronted him about the latter, his defense was that he was just trying to get everything fixed, and that once he got everything together and the distractions were out of the way, he would figure out his spiritual life with God. Connie’s response: “Jimmy, those things will never be out of the way!”

That sentence has really stuck in my head, a reminder that if we wait to spend time with God until this responsibility is finished or that school project is done or life just isn’t quite so hectic… well it’s just never going to happen. Unless you’re out of the blue hit by a car and paralyzed so you’re suddenly just sitting in a dark room alone for hours (which actually did happen to one of our teachers, but that’s besides the point…), life is never going to slow down or kindly feed you a couple free hours a day. It’s called making time for the One that made time and kinda really deserves at least a bit of yours. Actually really all.

So that sentence randomly jumped into my head yesterday, and I let it dwell in my mind for a while then didn’t think about it again. And thennnn… in our Minor Prophets class this morning we studied Haggai and would you believe it that prophet from 2,500 years ago talked about the very thing as Connie Kendall!

Context: In chapter one he prophesies to the Israelites that have returned to Jerusalem. This is 18 years after Ezra, after they started rebuilding the temple, and lo and behold they are still not done. In fact the construction has stopped. But the people have all finished their nice houses, and are working on their fields. But nothing’s going well. They plant, but harvest little – eat and drink, but never have their fill – earn wages but feel as though they’re just pouring them into a purse with holes (v6).

Haggai steps in with a message from the Lord that the reason why all that is happening is because His house is still unfinished.

“The time has not yet come for the Lord’s house to be built,” all of the people were saying. They were too busy trying to grow more crops, trying to pour more money into their hole-riddled purses. There was no time to work on the temple! They were seeing the problem backwards. (When you’re up to your armpits in alligators, it’s hard to remember your goal was to drain the swamp!) You can’t fix things and get your life to a point where you’ve got some spare time to give to God – instead you’ve got to, in spite of the current problems and schedule that’s screaming at you and confining you and filling all of your vision, stop. And get away. And push out all the distractions. And focus on God. And the things of this world will grow strangely dim…

Well that was a long-ish blog post with a lot of commas. 🙂 And yes, I will post Alaska pictures soon…

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