By Luann Prater
At the time of the banquet he sent his servant to tell those who had been invited, ‘Come, for everything is now ready.’ But they all alike began to make excuses. Luke 14:17-18
In Greek the words ‘make excuses’ means to decline, refuse or avoid.
This Scripture speaks to our generation of busy people. It speaks to me. It’s that time of the year again. School is in full swing with all of the games, plays and extra-curricular activities. Mix in the fast approaching holiday season and you have the recipe for custom-made excuses.
Years ago, I walked every morning with my Christian accountability sisters. We discussed spiritual growth, shared prayer requests and ‘glistened’ as the sweat dripped down our brows. We walked, talked and challenged each other to find God’s purpose for our lives. It was a miraculous part of my journey.
Several women in this group were not considered ‘morning’ people. Yet, when we decided to take on The Purpose Driven Life at the crack of dawn, their commitment to this study and to our fellowship was stronger than sleep. Our husbands stared in amazement as their wives methodically rolled out of bed to discover life’s purpose. Some of these men had urged their wives to share a sunrise with them, only to find a glaring eye peeking from beneath the covers. For many years, we had wrapped ourselves in work, meetings or children’s activities and excused ourselves from God’s purpose for our lives.
If you read on in Luke, Jesus tells of a man too busy to come to the banquet. We are just like this man. We allow the soccer games, business trips and never-ending errands to pull us away from God's table. The story continues with a man anxious to try out his new oxen; you know, take him for a test drive. The pleasures of this world can certainly lure us away from spending time with God. The new car, the new boat, the new toy demands our attention and mutes the voice of the Holy Spirit calling us to come.
Finally, this Scripture describes the man using his family, his new bride, as the excuse to stay away from the feast. I need to spend quality time with my family, but what is quality time? Is it running to the game, sleeping in, or just choosing to do what we want instead of what God is calling us to do?
We often act as if we have no control over the hectic lifestyle we choose to lead. We load up our schedule with gymnastics, karate, soccer and dance, as if someone were holding us at gunpoint. We choose PTA, committees and work, convincing ourselves if we don’t do it, it won’t get done.
Life is full of choices and it's also full of excuses; sometimes the lines between them get blurred.
Every morning we are called to His table… to fill our minds and hearts with new songs, new praises and new energy to live for Him.
Want to join me at the table?
Begin with prayer asking God to reveal His direction for your day; then watch and recognize the opportunities that fill your day. How will you choose to live this day? Will you excuse yourself from the table or allow the Father to fill your cup with His love? What are you willing to give up today? Who is God calling you to spend more time with today? Where can you see the habit of excuses being manifested in your life?
Jesus, we are a generation of busy people. Teach us to value time and the way we choose to spend it. There is nothing more important than refreshing our spirit at Your table. Thank You Father for Your bountiful blessings in our lives. Forgive us when our excuses keep us from coming to Your banquet. Amen.
© 2019 by Luann Prater. All rights reserved.
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Originally published Thursday, 29 August 2019.