I am a fan of crossword puzzles. I've worked them since I was a young girl. When I first started mom and I worked them together, then I began working them on my own. I also am very interested in words, and to this day I love to learn a new word as often as I can.
If you work crossword puzzles then you will probably be familiar with the word "ort". We almost never use it in today's world, and to use it in your conversations would probably cause others to pause and give you an inquiring look or a look of doubt that you know what you are talking about. Ort is a word that describes left-overs at the end of a meal. Ort is what the pigs were fed on the farm. Ort is the scraps that no one wants. It is ort that I am thinking about today, that I want to use in my conversation, so don't look at me funny.
Those of us in the Christian church who call ourselves, and think of ourselves, as good Christians need to constantly be looking at our walk with Christ, testing and checking ourselves, and listening closely every day, twenty four/seven as the saying goes, to the Holy Spirit to guide us to completeness in Him. Most of us have a long way to go, and learning to recognize the Spirit's voice is key to our walk. To hear the Holy Spirit we must be willing to give the Trinity our full attention, our all. And I am brave enough to say that every single one of us can do better. He does not want, nor does He deserve our ort.
My guess is that most of us go to prayer if and when we have time. When we awake in the morning there is much to be done to ready our family and ourselves for the day. When we get home at the end of the day we are tired, worn out, and there's more work to do. Meals and children and social activities, along with many other things, take all of our time, and by the time we get to our bed we have little left. So we say a quick prayer, "Oh God, thank You for this day and please, God, help me to sleep!" What God just received was what little you had left for Him.
Sunday mornings can be so hectic, and even during the week some of us spend so much time serving Him in our areas of ministry. Wonderful! But beyond serving Him, are we saving back the best part of our time for worship? Or are we doing so much for God that we have no time to be with Him? I believe God wants you and your time first, then your service. Sometimes I've done so much for Him, I don't have time for Him. He gets my scraps.
Another place we sometimes struggle, or perhaps don't even consider, is our tithe. If I tithe and don't have enough left over to buy the extras in my life, I must make a decision. And, often, we give to God on Sunday what is left after we have paid everything else. You can reason this away, but I believe God is First in all things, even my money. It is His. He allows us the privilege to have it, and if we pay Him the ort that we have left over we have given to Him no more than we would give to the animals in the barnyard or the dogs at our feet. I can reason that I can only afford to give Him a small portion, but God doesn't deserve to be robbed any more than you or I do. My leftovers are the height of disrespect to the One who loves us beyond our power to understand.
When I go to my Father and I am in need I will never hear Him say, "As soon as I am finished with this one I'll get to you. I'm busy right now", or "I think I can give you five minutes tomorrow at noon. I'll try to fit you in then." He will never be too tired or too busy to listen and give me what I need to plod through. God will never tell me, "Sorry, I'm a little short this month. Can I pay you next week?"
God is my refuge and strength; an ever present help in times of trouble. He deserves my very best at all times in return. My God deserves to receive the cream of my crop, the finest and the most that I can give. I'll save the ort for the pigs.