Get connected with God

By: By Becky Spell Vann - Contributing columnist

Have you pondered being prepared, connected, and running to the Lord and loved ones? Most people spend endless hours learning about and clinging to phones, computers, and FB; Daily checking in, charging up, connecting clearly, and never leaving home without them (especially cell phones) is a way of life for most of God’s children. If lost or disconnected, we are restless until phones are found or reconnected.

Yet, have we lost touch or become disconnected from God who created and cares so much that He sent His Son to die for our sins, the Promise Keeper who has prepared a place for us to spend eternity, the Lord who loves and looks after us, the Father, Son, and Holy Ghost who longs for us to stay connected here and live happily ever after in Heaven? Do we spend more time connecting with cell phones and technology than with Christ? Do families instill habits and love for reading the Bible and daily time praising and praying together, or do we seldom find time to sit down for dinner together, with futile attempts of working the Lord and loved ones into our jam packed schedules?

As we ponder Irma’s path with preparations in place, are we complacent about greater things, like loving God with all our hearts and loving our neighbors, forgiving one another, living closely connected, and being prepared for the coming of Christ? Running to Jesus in storms and sunshine has eternal dividends.

Who are we teaching our children and grandchildren to run to when they celebrate success, make mistakes, or get mixed up in sinful ways of the world? The Bible teaches training up our children in the way they should go and being there for them to run to is wise. Ponder (as Mary did in her heart) things that others cannot understand about your life’s calling and circumstances.

Have you been welcomed home when loved ones had every reason to turn you away? Have you rejected and refused to forgive a family member or friend who sinned and seeks forgiveness? Have you been falsely accused with no intentions to forgive or return? Jesus taught the power of forgiving, forgetting, pressing forward in faith, and following His Father’s greatest commandment…to love Him with all our heart and to love our neighbor as ourself. All His children are our neighbors He loves through and through. God expects us to love Him and them deeply and devotedly too.

While reading this story, you might be struggling with memories of your past. Maybe there is crying at night and no joy in your mornings. There could be doubt and despair in every waking moment as you write in misery and miss blessings, as did Scrooge in The Christmas Carol. Then, there are those reading with hope and joy as you bear burdens with dignity and dependence on God. No matter your circumstances or situations, Jesus is waiting to enter your hearts. Prayerfully ponder where you are and who you are running to!

If you have never asked Jesus into your heart or have strayed, He (and hopefully, your loved ones) will be waiting with open arms to welcome you home. The choice of how we live daily and where we spend eternity is up to you and me! Are we running to God (letting go of the past, enjoying the present, and looking forward to the future with blessed assurance that paradise is prepared with our reservations secured), or staying on the run ( hanging onto hurtful pasts, missing blessings, and hearing Him say when our work here is done, “…sorry ____________, I never knew you”)?

Words from an old hymn rise up as I conclude this story that has taken two weeks to complete. Distractions seem determined to destroy the message. Visions of weary people in Houston waiting to return home while wondering if Irma will hit here and destroy our home sweet home fills my mind. Thoughts of deleting this story surfaced more than once as I tried to write while listening to updates on which way Hurricane Irma will go when she hits Florida. Many people in her path could lose everything, even life – and it could be you or me!

Clinton has no gas or water as people take precautions before the storm. Being prepared and waiting for the coming of Christ should cause the same urgency to rise up with passion. The greatest preparations should include making things right in our hearts with the Lord, loved ones, and anyone we have ought against. Then, we can go through any storm with sweet stories to share. Oh, that all His children would accept and love Jesus, forgive one another, enjoy close connections and abundant blessings as we write the rest of our stories! We cannot start the next chapters of our lives if we keep reading the last ones.

The fictitious story of Scrooge missing joy while on the run, obsessed with power, money, and past mistakes, proves that happy endings can come to even the most discouraging, dismal lives when people chose to believe, connect to the Lord and loved ones, and let God’s grace erase the past and restore joy and peace forever and ever. The true story of The Prodigal Son is recorded in God’s Word for you and me to relate to while writing chapters when we could easily be the character who remained faithful, stayed home to work and care for his father, but lost close connection by becoming bitter when his brother returned and reconnected. We could also be the one who ran from Father and family, squandered our inheritance, wallowed in sin, lost all hope and happiness, but in time recognized what we left, confessed in a pig pen, and longed to ‘ go home’ to the place where we were loved and life was good. The main Character, Christ, loves all His children, gives free will to choose our setting, characters, plot, and ending to our stories, and patiently waits for close connections as time here ends and He calls us Home. So, who are you running to as you write your story and seal your reservation for eternity? Will it be Heaven or Hell when your work here is done?

Softly sing the words that end this story in your heart, whether you are at home, work, or preparing for the storm feeling calm and connected to Christ… or by yourself in a place without the blessings enjoyed at home…disconnected from the Lord and loved ones (who long to be connected to you again)! Who are you running to and what is your answer to Him and them? Loved ones are waiting for you to come home from places that have pulled you away. You may have never left home but are mired down in messes that make you strangers in your own home. Take time to sit down and listen without being distracted by things as Jesus taught in the story while visiting Mary and Martha. Do we enjoy life and take time for people like Mary did or live consumed with packed agendas like Martha. Jesus loved Martha and appreciated a meal and clean house but would rather have had a simple meal and tidy house filled with sweet fellowship. He longed for her to join the family, sit at his feet, and make memories together (as we do many people in our lives who go to the extreme and have little time left to enjoy time together with the Lord and loved ones)! Martha loved Jesus just as Mary did, but she chose to ‘stay busy’ instead of relishing moments and making memories with Jesus that no one could steal. We must make choices to run to or away from God and the gifts (family, friends) He has given to share our lives with. Is it time for you and me to prune some things from our lives and put Father, family, and faith first? Singing the old hymn that calls the weary to come home might be just what we need to do. Take time to go home and spend time with loved ones while preparing passionately to go Home when Jesus comes our way!

“Come Home, come Home. Ye who are weary – come Home! Jesus is tenderly watching and waiting. Waiting for you and for me!”

By Becky Spell Vann

Contributing columnist

Becky Spell Vann is the owner and operator of Tim’s Gift and The Learning Station.

Becky Spell Vann is the owner and operator of Tim’s Gift and The Learning Station.