I recently received my license plate renewal notice from the Bureau of Motor Vehicles. I’m thankful now that I can renew my plates online without having to navigate the time warp of waiting in line at the BMV. There’s something about that place that makes me question every piece of paperwork I take with me. I think I’d rather just take my entire filing cabinet with me … just in case. I’ve been there and had to go all the way home on more than one occasion – just to have to return to start the whole waiting process over again.
The only benefit of going to the brick and mortar BMV is the intense camaraderie that you can start to feel with the other 77 people waiting in line. There’s a sense of survival…and solidarity. I feel like they should pass out t-shirts at the end. You know, “I survived a trip to the BMV.”
I now always renew online, which usually means I pay extra for that privilege. There’s always a little line item when I go to check out…a convenience fee. I’ve never been happier to pay extra for something though. Yes, the convenience fee is just that…for my convenience. But it’s also for my sanity and general health and well being. It’s a no-brainer for me. I know someone out there is cringing right now … you’d never pay extra just for the ability to avoid the excruciating black hole of the BMV. I see you out there, and I applaud you. You have a strength of character that I do not.
But as I was mulling over these convenience fees, I began to wonder how often I pay convenience fees in my spiritual life. How often do I skip the discipline of something and try to take the easy way out?
Not Investing Real Time
How often do I run late in the morning and forego my Bible reading and prayer time until later, then devote only a few minutes out of duty at the end of the day … just to check it off my list?
How often is my prayer time throwing hasty requests toward God without really spending the time with Him and letting my prayers change my heart to meld my will to His?
Whatever your hand finds to do, do it with your might; for there is no work or device or knowledge or wisdom in the grave where you are going. Ecclesiastes 9:10
Not Resting in God
How often do I charge ahead in life, operating in my own strength, working hard to get things done and set things up for the future, and filling out to-do lists? And forget to take advantage of the rest that God promises to give. His rest goes beyond the eight hours a night we’re all supposed to be getting…it’s a deep rest, rest for our souls.
Come to Me, all you who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take My yoke upon you and learn from Me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. Matthew 11:28-29
Not Relying On God’s Truths
How often do I let my own inner dialogue resound louder than God’s truths?
Casting down arguments and every high thing that exalts itself against the knowledge of God, bringing every thought into captivity to the obedience of Christ. 2 Corinthians 10:5
Next time you’re dutifully waiting in line at the BMV (or checking out online), look at your own life … are you paying convenience fees spiritually? Taking shortcuts to avoid the work and discipline?