How to make a Friday truly Happy

This being the first Friday in Lent, let’s do some life-giving self-examination. This post is another Friday Soulfest (see below for more on that). And today I’ve got some thoughts on why Friday is the perfect day to get clear about our priorities.

Think about it – Friday is the only day of the week when most people end their work/school week and begin to play for the
weekend. Friday is both workday and play day. Friday touches a lot of important areas of our lives. It reveals a lot about who we are.

Today I have a day full of work – more work than I can possibly do. I hope to get to the gym before dinner. Then Susan and I have a great night planned, going to dinner and seeing a music show with three other couples. So today there are multiple important elements of life converging: work, fitness, and marriage/play/socializing. These are all good things to do. The question is, will I use work and people for selfish ends or will I walk through this day and weekend as God’s selfless servant?

In chapter 2 of Luminous (which I will be blogging about on Fridays in March) the topic is Purpose. The way I understand Jesus, he is pretty plain and direct:
Jesus wants our total allegiance. Period. No exceptions. No dilution. To blend other purposes with Jesus is to play a game of double allegiance. In Luke 14, Jesus warned against double allegiance of any kind. Before a large crowd, he said, “If anyone comes to me and does not hate father and mother, wife and children, brothers and sisters—yes, even their own life—such a person cannot be my disciple. And whoever does not carry their cross and follow me cannot be my disciple” (Luke 14:26-27). The word translated “hate” conveys a sense of priorities. To “hate” someone or something in this sense is to prioritize him, her, or it on a lower level. Jesus calls us to live with a single purpose, not to add him to the mix of purposes we already have. (p. 37) 
In practical terms, this means not pursuing work, fitness, and marriage/play/socializing for selfish reasons. It means checking our motives – or allowing God to check them. Most of all, it means carrying on a dialogue with God throughout the day in which we can devote ourselves to him as often as possible.

Today as the various spheres of your life converge, try checking in with God as often as possible. Instead of using work and people to meet your own ends, ask God, “What do you want to do?” This is the best, most life-giving trajectory for your weekend!

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About Friday Soulfest… How better to head into a weekend than a soulfest? That’s a festival for your soul, and it means connecting with God in deeply happy-making ways. Throughout 2014, I will be posting excerpts and prayer exercises from my book Luminous: Living the Presence and Power of Jesus. With these posts, I hope to give you springboards for communing with Jesus. He’s the one who puts the fest in our souls!

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