Have you ever scoured the internet trying to discover when and where a movie you missed was going to hit streaming? I missed Venom 2 and Eternals this fall and ended up spending a bunch of time weeding through articles and conflicting information about where and when I could watch those two films. Eternals hits Disney + on January 12th. Venom 2 is available to purchase. The info about a streaming release date is more sketchy at best, and I spent way too much time trying to figure it out.
Was that time well spent? Probably not.
As I write this, it is January 1st 2022, and I am thinking of things I want to accomplish this year. Each goal will take time. Time. That’s the key. If you’re like me, you often mutter the phrase, “I just don’t have enough time.” Sometimes, it’s true. I’m a father of 3. I work and have a host of other things clamoring for my attention. At other times, my claim about having no time is just an excuse for poor planning. I do have time. I just spent too much of it doing things like figuring out how to watch Venom 2.
What would be a worthy use of time in 2022. In John chapter 15 Jesus gives us some rock solid advice for how to spend our time. He told a parable that described us as branches on a vine and God as a vine dresser who pruned the unfruitful parts off of the vine. The vine dresser wants the branches to produce more fruit. The parable described Jesus as the main vine that provided nourishment to outer branches. The implications of the teaching are straight forward. We need to prioritize our connection to the main vine, and we need to let God prune unfruitful things from our lives, which allows the fruitful parts to reach their greatest potential.
How is your spiritual life? Do you feel distant from God? Uninterested in spiritual things? Chances are good that you have not prioritized your connection to Jesus. I’m sorry if this sounds harsh, but your dull spiritual life is your fault. Hey, I’m the guy who just admitted to wasting a bunch of time learning about movie release dates! I am there with you. How can we spend more time with God? You and I will have to take time away from something else. In other words, we have to let God trim or prune some things in our lives, so that our spiritual lives can flourish.
The Lord is trying to save us from a life that is full of waste and lackluster. When we surrender and allow the master gardener to complete his pruning, we will experience an explosion of colorful, delicious fruit. We will experience an inner renewal that will lead to outer flourishing and fruitfulness.