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10 Minutes Peace

    by Susan McGrath

"Secure Your Oxygen Mask First"
Date Posted: November 5, 2005

Recently in our small group bible study we were giving each other encouraging words as we took turns sitting in the "hot seat". When it was my turn, one group member told me that she really appreciated my dedication to the group. That I was there every week and willing to share.

I had to admit to the group that my dedication didn't always carry over to regular scripture study and prayer time during the week. And that I felt guilty sometimes leaving my kids with a sitter and a mess a home in order to attend the group study, even though I thirsted for it.

She then made a comparison which put things in perspective for me. She said, "It's like when you get on a plane and the flight attendant explains the safety procedures. They tell you in an emergency if you have a small child, secure your own oxygen mask first. Then you can help your child."

Lightbulb!

Not that I didn't realize on a spiritual and psychological level that I needed time in God's word and fellowship with other Christians, but on an emotional level I was still the guilty mom.

The one who doesn't feel fulfilled until the Scout schedule is laid out a year in advance, and the homework is all double checked, and quality children's books are purchased from every book order sent home from school, and the calendar is marked with "cold lunch" on every day the school menu includes something my son hates to eat, and everyone has their bible and offering money before going to Sunday school, and memorizes their verse for Wednesday night, and meets the soccer fundraising goal so they can qualify for a prize (even if I have to buy five overpriced pieces of junk)!

Okay, maybe I'm not quite that guilt-ridden and obsessive, at least not all at the same time! But you get my point. I think every mom can relate to something on that list.

Modern American society tells us our children should be our first priority. They come before health, wealth or marital stability. Never mind God.

Jesus' words tell us something different in John 15:4-8. "Remain in me and I will remain in you. No branch can bear fruit by itself; it must remain in the vine. Neither can you bear fruit unless you remain in me. I am the vine; you are the branches.

If a man remains in me and I in him, he will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing. If anyone does not remain in me, he is like a branch that is thrown away and withers; such branches are picked up, thrown into the fire and burned. If you remain in me and my words remain in you, ask whatever you wish, and it will be given you. This is to my Father's glory that you bear much fruit, showing yourselves to be my disciples."

So the Lord promises good to me if I "remain in Him". Not if I am nominated for Mother of the Year. Not if I chair the school fundraiser. Not even if I run the most successful mid-week program in my church and attend every small group meeting.

He must come first. Then, from Him, all things will follow.

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Biography Information:
Susan McGrath is:

a recovering journalist trying to encourage others and glorify God through writing;

living the small-town life with husband Tim and sons Lincoln, 12, and Sawyer, 6;

completing a few put-off writing projects while using chocolate for therapy.
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