Every once in a while, my 9-year-old asks to add a splash of coffee to his hot chocolate in the morning. And every once in a while I allow him to do so.
This morning, he asked if he could pour some coffee. In a horrible mothering moment, I assumed he meant pour a small amount into his hot chocolate, as he had done before. Instead, he poured himself a full cup and then proceeded to add “vanilla creamer.”
A few moments later, he brought me his cup and asked, “Why doesn’t it taste like yours?”
I took a sip and discovered it was pure coffee…with a VERY large helping of vanilla coffee syrup. Not, creamer.
Have you ever tried to substitute syrup for creamer? In my opinion, it was disgusting! Substitutes may taste slightly the same, but there are distinct differences.
The same is true with God. There are seasons of our lives that we make slight adjustments to our walk with God.
Some adjustments may include the amount of time we spend in prayer, or the time of day we spend in prayer. Those substitutes may be exchanging time reading a fiction novel for the time to read the Bible. Perhaps I skip the pedicure and instead go serve at the community center.
But what about when we substitute our Bible study time for shopping on line? When we sacrifice prayer time for reading a magazine? When we choose to fiddle with the radio nob rather than take a moment to pray for the homeless person on the side of the road?
Sometimes the substitutes are for the better, sometimes for the worse. Some are syrup and some are creamer.
Take a moment this week and assess what is being substituted in your life…is it better or worse for your relationship with God. I’ll be praying that you have healthy substitutes and grow closer to the Lord.