An odd choice

by, Jim is the Campus / Pastor and Primary Communicator at Bay West Church Palm Bay Fl

How do you prepare for a hard day or season?  I usually try to make sure I’m eating healthy, getting plenty of rest, and clearing out my schedule.  Many of us do similar types of things to prepare ourselves. With my wife in the runoff for School Board in District 5, hard season has taken on a whole new meaning.

Jesus lived his life in a high stress environment.  Crowds hounded him constantly. The authorities of the day hated and harassed him.  Everything he did was a lightning rod, and he was living his life with the eternity of mankind on the line.  What a pressure cooker!

While in this environment, he still remained the most self-controlled and peace-filled person that has ever existed.  How did he do it? Yoga? Vegan lifestyle? Great sleep? Essential oils?

Before an especially heavy day, Jesus, many times, didn’t sleep, or eat, at all the night before.  Instead, he was intentionally investing that time with God. Jesus knew that the most important need he had to fill to be able to handle the hardest things was a need for time with God.

It’s funny, realizing this, that the first commitments that some Christ followers will cut are things like their personal devotional time in the morning or attending worship services or serving at church, because that one hour will make all the difference.  Usually this action is done, because it seems like the easiest thing to cut. I’ve rarely seen someone’s life get better, and usually I’ve seen it get worse, because we don’t understand what Jesus understood.

Jesus knew that what made him at his best wasn’t his physical condition or an unburdened schedule, but the condition of his heart spiritually.  The same is true with us. When we have a healthy relationship with God, we have an internal guide for navigating heavy schedules successfully.

While we can’t work our way to health in Christ, we also can’t “veg” our way there either.  If we trust Christ first, God will provide the energy and the time to do what He wants us to do.  Consequently, when we don’t put Him first, the time and energy that we had gets wasted and drained.

Maybe you are in a stressful time in life, and you are tempted to cut the lowest hanging fruit on the schedule.  Be careful, because the lowest hanging fruit may actually be hanging there because it’s the nourishment you need the most.  Instead, make the odd choice to spend MORE time with God. Maybe take a vacation day at work and spend the entire day with God.  Get up an hour earlier to spend it in prayer. Possibly, by making that odd choice, you will find the odd result, one of less fatigue, more energy and focus, along with grace under pressure and great honor to the Lord.

Jim is the Campus Pastor and Primary Communicator at Bay West Church, which meets at 100 Emerson Drive on Sundays at 11am.  For more info on Bay West Church or more of Jim’s writings, visit  Like “Bay West Church” on Facebook and you can follow Jim on twitter @jwcamp or @baywestchurch

Bay West Church is a campus of First Baptist Church of Melbourne.