Take delight in the Lord and He will give you the desires of your heart. Commit your way to the Lord; trust in Him and He will act (Psalm 37:4-5)
It is said that time heals everything, so you can assume that the lack of time leads to the opposite. I joined the CFCI Singles Porvorim Chapter about a year ago and they always said that our call to family life comes before that to the community. This is amazing especially for someone like me who struggles to get a few minutes of free time a day.
Considering that I dabble in a bunch of things, along with a full time job, spending time with my family proves to be very difficult. It’s not that we don’t get along, it is just that I don’t get the time for them. I spoke to a few elders in the community and mentioned that I would not be able to attend more than one meeting a week. That being said, I had the best attendance for the weekly meetings but would not attend any other community events. I was advised that I should spend time in prayer and that God would help me find time for everything.
I did just that. I prayed with all my heart but nothing changed. My folks would still worry about me arriving home late after meetings. In my head, God was clearly not listening to my prayers and at times that made me feel like I should stop praying and spend the same time doing something more productive. I would skip out on the outreach programs, all Goa meetings, camps; basically anything that was out of my “two hours a week” slotted for meetings. I always justified this by giving myriad excuses. People began to think that I was ‘dead weight’ and was a part of the community just for the sake of being in it. I seemed like the guy who didn’t want to do more, and at times, I felt like that guy too.
My father enjoyed spending time with me. He was not the kind of man who needed me to talk to him, or do things with him but just being in his presence made his day. I didn’t really mind missing out on events or activities because being with family made me happy in return. But all this changed after the National Singles Conference held at Old Goa in August 2015.
My dilemma was that I could not make time for my family and attend community events, whilst having to make time for class as well. Work was taking up more than 75% of my time and the only time I had, I was either working on projects for college, or too tired to do anything. I kept asking God for a better way to deal with this but again nothing happened. Post conference, I felt the Lord calling me to do so much more, but didn’t want to spend time away from my family because I knew my folks would feel bad. I continued praying about this and asked God how I could have the best of both, i.e. spend more time with the community and time with my family, while not compromising on work.
Finally my prayers were answered in the form of an internet connection. Yes! An internet connection. After waiting ages, I could now get a lot of work done from home which meant that I did not have to spend long hours in the office. I could also be with my parents so they didn’t have to worry about me travelling so late at night. I now started spending my time writing and editing for the CFCI website, since I had more time. I even found myself making time to be a household servant, something that I didn’t think I would be doing, not at least for a few years. I even managed to make the time to coordinate an entire outreach program and I am doing all this by still giving my parents all the time they need from me, to the point where they ask me why I am still around or why I have not gone out on a specific weekend.
I truly believe that if we choose to make time for God, He will work out everything in our favour. (c.f Romans 8:28)