Saturday, February 18, 2017

And what I found along the way

Most mornings, I have to put on my proverbial seatbelt to write.  When a day appears wide open to write, I almost always awaken to urgent needs around me  in bold print, all caps, and italicized, even that which is not URGENT by any measure. 

I don’t even get to the computer before there is a crowd at the door of my thoughts, taking numbers as if at the meat market on sale day, sometimes shoving and shouting like so many elementary students getting in line on the playground after the wildness of recess.  “Me first!!!“  And what stands in the way of my needful work are so many distractions, the laundry, the making of soup for supper, one ingredient at the grocery, even what is someone else’s calling.  And I am often tempted by the alluring thought, “Oh, just this one thing, and you can get back to your work,” like a single cookie or potato chip that morphs into a LOT more than I intended.

Go put on your seatbelt, God reminds me.

After a brief conversation this morning, I knew what I was going to write about.  I sketched out my idea in my journal, based on a verse that through the years God has engraved on my heart.  I just couldn’t remember the chapter and verse in the Bible.  For efficiency’s sake, I looked up two key words in the concordance at the back of my Bible.  I couldn’t find the verse.  Instead of quickly looking it up on the internet, I KNEW that I had written down the verse somewhere on the back flaps of my Bible.  I was ready to grab the verse and plow ahead.

God had bigger plans than that.  God always has more profound designs than my puny intentions.

I first glanced through my scribblings on the back flaps of my Bible, verses jotted down through the years.  I scanned over them.  Nothing initially popped out.  But then, other verses caught my attention as well as the words of godly people I know, and truths verbalized in a sermon or two.

I was looking for a single verse and a quick write.  But when I sought a little deeper, God overwhelmed me by His love and His faithfulness.

“The only thing harder than waiting on God is wishing that you did.” – Crawford Loritts

…for it is not a trifle for you, but it is your life.  Deuteronomy 32. 47

“Making the invisible Kingdom visible.”  -- John Calvin

“Live in such a way that He is seen.” – anonymous

“Everything we do has significance with God.”   --anonymous

Keep you from sudden panic.  Proverbs 3. 25

“Sin ruins it all up.” – our granddaughter Maggie at age 4

You whose glory above the heavens is chanted by the mouth of babes and infants.  Psalm 8. 1-2

“Learn to read the Bible slowly.” – E. V. Hill

What emerged on those back flaps were four full pages in my own handwriting in teeny tiny letters, in ink so they will not fade and I will not forget.  God never intends me to rush through, grab a bite for the road when I think I need it, a band aid for a broken leg, a platitude to hang on my wall. 

God wants me to marinate.  He wants me to linger.  God converses.  It is not a quick fix, nor a list of rules or beliefs, but a personal, conversational, loving, grace-filled relationship.  That is why God gave us His Word,  that is why He invented praying, that is why He sent Jesus.  Even in the busy-ness  of days, I can pray all I want, I can dwell on His Word no matter what I am doing, and as He promises over and over and over again, “I am with you wherever you go.”

I rarely think about the enormity of things, those little jottings with so many different pens in so many seasons of my life.  When I inscribed these verses, and words, and thoughts, did I realize that decades later they would still be strengthening, building His truth in my life, and reminding me of His faithfulness?

The things of God I learn today may be equipping me for what is yet to come.

Ok, well, I really departed off the designated trail this morning.  Off on a tangent, or utterly distracted?  Or perhaps redirected to a different panorama of things and the intricately engineered details of the Creator of the universe.  I am amazed what I found along my way to somewhere else.  Following Him into it.

All these things don’t just  fit together. God made it so, beyond my wildest imagination, even more than I can know.

He is before all things,
and in Him,
     all things hold together.
               Colossians 1. 17

All who wander are not lost. – J. R. R. Tolkien

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