I know that I’m a better mom when I’ve spent daily time in the Word and in prayer. However, most days it doesn’t happen. My day begins with Tot crawling into my bed and demanding breakfast. I roll to my feet, send him to potty, and let out the dog. Then I go wake up Teen because he has slept through his alarm, again. The day swirls on from there spanning playgroup outings, school, balancing the checkbook, and the eighty thousand unnamed things that are part of running a household. Before I know it, I’m nodding off while watching television. Some nights I drag myself to my room, take out my Bible, and try to decipher something meaningful with my weary brain. A lot of nights, I don’t even accomplish that much and just fall into sleep.

I know it benefits me and my children, but I don’t do it. This daily struggle makes me think of Romans 7:15 NLT “I don’t really understand myself, for I want to do what is right, but I don’t do it. Instead, I do what I hate.”

Some time back, I was reading from Luke 19:1-10: The Story of Zacchaeus. Here’s the six5mom summary of the story. Zacchaeus was a short tax-collector. He heard Jesus was in town and wanted to see him. Zacchaeus was too short to see over the crowd, so he climbed a tree. Jesus saw him in the tree, called out to him, and invited Himself to dinner. Zacchaeus immediately came down from the tree and took Jesus to his house.

The KJV version uses the word “press” in verse 3 instead of “crowd.” I like that word “press.” It certainly describes our lives in this modern world. Whether a SAHM or a corporate bigwig, everything in the day is a press from the moment we wake to the time we go to bed. But Zacchaeus didn’t let the press stop him from pursuing Jesus. There was a crowd. Most of us would see the throng and think, “There’s way too people. I can’t push through that! I’ll see Jesus another day.” But not our diminutive hero, he shoved his way through. He was short. Even with his determination, he still couldn’t see Jesus. There’s no scriptural evidence of this, but I can imagine him straining up on his toes and jumping as he struggled to peer over all those heads. Finally, he spies a solution to his problems–a tree. He was a tax collector not a laborer. I presume (again no specific scripture about this) his small size and white collar job equated to less strength than the average male of the day, and climbing trees ain’t easy. Yet, he wriggled his way up the trunk so that he could spot his Savior. Despite the obstacles, Zacchaeus sought out Jesus and was rewarded for his efforts.

How often do I let the press stop me from pursuing God? Truthfully, I schedule Christ around my day as opposed to scheduling my day around Christ. He should be the focal point of my routine, not the thing I cram in at the end. Each day, I should think like Zacchaeus and figure out what I have to shove through or climb in order to spend time with my Lord. The reward? Being a better mom. Being a better person. Being a better me. As John 15:4 NLT says, “Remain in me, and I will remain in you. For a branch cannot produce fruit if it is severed from the vine, and you cannot be fruitful unless you remain in me.”

Here’s a final thought–the press is always there. Nothing is going to make all the demands on us magically disappear. But like Zacchaeus, we can rise above it and view it from a different perspective. From up the tree, we see Christ, and we have peace.