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Sunday, October 3, 2010

A Lick and a Promise

“Better is one day in your courts than a thousand elsewhere;”

Psalm 84:10a NIV

The older I get the more I realize how valuable “a lick and a promise” can be when it comes to housework. In past years I have tried to have every thing in my house, garage and yard perfect, only to fail every single time! I now know that “a lick and a promise” can go a long way in keeping total disaster from overcoming my residence.

I remember standing outside my house shaking my rugs while watching other people as they sat on their porches, took walks, and rode bikes. I always went back into the house wondering how in the world they had time to enjoy life.

The real point today is that life was keeping me so busy with what I considered to be necessary that it robbed me of enjoying life. That is why I now think that flying the “lick and a promise” flag is a good idea. For me cleanliness is a must but perfection is always just out of my reach because there is always too much to be done. Many times family members undo my work faster than I can do it, I’m sure you know what I mean!

My husband and I live in a home that takes quite a bit of care and maintenance. Our home is nestled on a wooded lot and we have several porches and decks. I believe that God has given us this home and grounds to enjoy and use for his glory. I have become acutely aware that if I spend every waking moment making sure that there is no evidence that the birds have been around on the decks and porches, or that every single weed is pulled, and every leaf has been perfectly blown off the decks, then most likely I will never get around enjoying the blessing of the home that God has given us. So once again, the “lick and a promise” rule applies as I tackle the most obvious projects. By doing only a little of this and that everyday I have come to free up some free time for enjoying God, my family, my friends, the solitude of my home, my porch swing and some of the hobbies that I love.

It is also very much like that with the Lord. Making time for the Lord is important even if it’s just five minutes here and there. I used to think that if I didn’t have an hour I may as well not even attempt to spend time with the Lord. While I am an advocate of forming the habit of a daily purposeful “quiet time,” guess what? I have found that the “lick and a promise” rule is of value in my spiritual life as well. “Better is one day in your courts than a thousand elsewhere.” The loose translation of those words is that it is indeed better to spend five minutes here and there with the Lord than to wait until I have everything in perfect order or until I manage to snag a large block of time. If I am not careful, life will end and I will have spent thousands of days elsewhere!

Just like my house, if I never pick up misplaced items, clean a bathroom, load the dishwasher, mop a floor, or dust and vacuum, eventually my earthly house will be in such disarray and so filthy that it will take major work to get it back into some reasonable shape. So I am learning to read a verse or two while I have my coffee, or read a short blog when I set down at my computer. All through the day I whisper prayers giving God my concerns and worship one phrase at a time. In addition I love to turn on praise and worship music while I work or drive in my car. Better is five minutes in his courts than hours spent elsewhere. In this very simple way I am able to keep my focus on God and maintain the order of my spiritual house.


What is it that you like to do that you seldom find time to do?

Are you overdoing some things in your life and does that pattern prevent you from enjoying other things that would bring you pleasure?

Do you think that the “lick and a promise” policy might free up some of your busy day?

Could re-thinking your activities open up a window of time for daily connecting with God?


Lord Jesus,

You were busy to the point of exhaustion every day of your ministry. Yet not only did you commune with your Father all through each day, in addition, you would rise early or get in a boat and sail away from the crowds and your work, to spend time alone with your Father. Lord Jesus, impress upon my mind what is necessary and what is not necessary in my life. Help me to simplify my life in any way that I can. Help me to not only find time for you but also for rest and relaxation. Help me to enjoy my family and my friends. God, you have blessed me with so much. Help me to stop and smell all of the beautiful roses that you have placed in the garden of my life.

In Your Name I pray. Amen.