I (Riva) only had the privilege of attending Lookout Mountain Presbyterian Church in Georgia for one short year, but since moving to Japan I have enjoyed listening to podcasts of the sermons while I run. Recently, I listened to a sermon entitled “The Danger of Serving without Sitting.” One thing Brian Salter referenced in the sermon is the Chinese/Japanese character for “busy” which is made up of two radicals (or pictures): Heart and Death. When our schedules get so FULL and BUSY (even when the busy-ness is serving God!) we experience the DEATH of our HEARTS! Busyness kills the heart.
As Brooks and I enter the next phase of our ministry here in Japan we find ourselves excited with the potential for new ministry commitments, overwhelmed with the amount of opportunities, and daily trying to fit everything into our schedules. This sermon challenged me to stop, take a breath, sit back and allow myself to SIT with Jesus. Instead of focusing on serving God and running around Japan trying to meet with everyone, sometimes the more important task is sitting, learning from, and listening to God.
As I listened to this particular sermon, I prayed that God would allow me to find satisfaction in sitting with him, and instead of focusing on ME and MY schedule, help me to focus on HIM and what HE wants for my life. I ended my run at the playground where Brooks was playing with the girls and had struck up a conversation with a family who had recently moved to our neighborhood. Both doctors from Taiwan, they had just moved their two children to Japan so the husband could study a specific type of surgery here. They were anxious in this new culture where they didn’t know much of the language and where the wife would stop working for a time period in order to take care of her kids. They are not Christians but the husband said he liked Christians because his mom had recently become a Christian and he could see the change in her life. He was excited to meet us and wondered if maybe God had brought us into his life in order to help his family through the transition. Here I was running all over Japan trying to “get things done” when all God wanted me to do was to seek him and wait for him to bring people into my life.
Would you please pray for this new friendship? Would you pray that Brooks and I would not concentrate on filling our schedules with meetings, Bible studies, and teaching opportunities without listening to God first? Would you pray that we would find time to sit with God and listen to what he has in store for our lives and ministry here? Maybe your life is busy too? We’re praying today that you would find time to sit at Jesus’ feet and listen to HIM and all that HE has in store for your life!