Some of you have mentioned that you’re keeping a Curiosity Journal, as well. Leave your link in the comments so that we can visit and enjoy your weekly review. Continue reading
Some of you have mentioned that you’re keeping a Curiosity Journal, as well. Leave your link in the comments so that we can visit and enjoy your weekly review. Continue reading →
Oswald Chambers spoke to me today.Not audibly. That would be freaky.No, Mr. Chambers spoke via the words he was faithful to record many years ago, preserved in My Utmost for His Highest, though even phrasing it that way seems a bit much. Maybe we could just say that I was inspired.In any case, please join me in pondering his advice. I’ve included it in its entirety here: Continue reading →
Shhhh…People are quieting down all over the place.They’re discovering how to be still … or, at least, they’re trying to.They’re stopping. Pausing. Praying.People are enjoying silence.Ann Voskamp at Holy Experience is taking us by the hand this week and leading us to quiet places with her primer on slowing down and how to seek. She invites others to post on intentional slowness. Scroll down her Wednesday post to visit others who are seeking to slow.L.L. Barkat, too, at Seedlings in Stone, is returning to lazy moments, outside, stopping and sitting in the yard to breathe in the air. Her heart, she says, “still needs rain, seeds, wind, sky.” She’s invited others to slow down, as well. Visit her post “Drift Me” and scroll down to visit those who have shared their thoughts and experiences on slowing.Jennifer at Getting Down with Jesus is seeking quiet in order to find stillness.Laura Boggess at High Calling Blogs is leading an online book club discussion about The Wisdom of the Wilderness. In her recent post “Power of the Slowing,” Laura describes a busy morning packing lunches for her boys. Her 10-year-old son asked, “Have you seen the moon this morning?” Laura writes:
We were going to be late.But I couldn’t help myself. I paused what I was doing and joined him in front of the window. And there it was, my full faced moon-friend, hanging low in the misty dark of the pre-dawn. I moved behind my boy and wrapped my arms around his ever-growing body.And. We. Just. Looked.
Just taking a moment here and there—pausing to look at the moon, sitting for a moment of quiet, turning off the television for one half-hour—we can take baby steps toward living a slower life.We can begin to listen.We can go from the rush, to a hush.The children’s book Goodnight Moon is a favorite with children. I think it’s because after full, rushed days, the simple process of saying “goodnight” to each item in the room is a child’s way of slowing. It’s an antidote to the sped-up, frenzied day the family may have endured.Goodnight moon.Goodnight cow jumping over the moon.The day is coming to a close. I think I’ll sip a little cocoa.Goodnight light and the red balloon.Turn off the computer. Look over my planner. Scribble another to-do list item. Write a thank-you note.Goodnight clocks and goodnight socks.Pull out a journal. Pen. Bible. My Utmost for His Highest. Set them on the table next to my bed. Before settling in with my books and writing, however, I prepare to tuck in the children.Goodnight little house and goodnight mouse.Room by room, I will kiss children and pray. Then I’ll climb into my own bed.Goodnight stars, goodnight airA page in My Utmost for His Highest.It says, “If I want to know the universal sovereignty of Christ, I must know Him for myself, and how to get alone with him; I must take time to worship the Being Whose Name I bear. ‘Come unto Me’—that is the place to meet Jesus.”Goodnight noises everywhere. I must know Him for myself, and how to get alone with him.And it occurs to me, as the day winds down, that I might actually be the old lady whispering “hush.”Find silence; be still.”‘Come unto Me’—that is the place to meet Jesus.”Each of us must know Him for ourselves … and how to get alone with him.Shhhh …
Friday’s entry in My Utmost for His Highest explained that when the Spirit fills us, we’re transformed. By beholding God as in a mirror, we become a mirror for others. “Beware of anything that would spot or tarnish that mirror in you,” Chamber writes. “It is almost always something good that will stain it— something good, but not what is best.”So many good things tempt us to turn away from beholding God and being changed into His likeness. What can we do?
The most important rule for us is to concentrate on keeping our lives open to God. Let everything else including work, clothes, and food be set aside. The busyness of things obscures our concentration on God.
Chambers advises that we let work, clothes and food be set aside if it threatens our focus on God. The list could go on to include writing, TV, Twitter, shopping, reading, clubs, blogging, kids’ activities…it’s so easy to let busyness of all kinds obscure my concentration on God. If some activity threatens my focus on the Lord, I need to seriously evaluate its place in my life. I need to keep myself open to Him. If something disrupts that, I need to examine the trouble-spot.
Never let a hurried lifestyle disturb the relationship of abiding in Him. This is an easy thing to allow, but we must guard against it. The most difficult lesson of the Christian life is learning how to continue “beholding as in a mirror the glory of the Lord . . . .”
Did you catch that warning? Never let a hurried lifestyle disturb the relationship of abiding in Him. I have seen it happen in my life–busyness distracts me from the Lord, and I must guard against it.I’m going too fast if my relationship with the Lord is off-kilter and deteriorating.During Mega Memory Month, I’m trying to polish off John 14 while dipping into the first 17 verses of John 15. I don’t think I’ll make it through to verse 17 in the days that remain, but as early as the first few lines, Jesus talks about us needing to abide in Him in order to bear fruit, just as a branch remains attached to a vine to bear fruit.A hurried lifestyle can disrupt a commitment to abiding in Him.And so I have chosen a slower pace. For years, I’ve been resisting the things that speed up my days or even my mind (Twitter appears to be a recent threat). I don’t want to let the temptation of a hurried lifestyle disturb my relationship of abiding in Him. I want to keep my life open to Him and concentrate on Him, even if it means managing those good things that distract.Because I want to choose what is best.
In today’s devotional from My Utmost for His Highest, Oswald Chambers excerpted from Isaiah 52:12, which reads:
But you will not leave in haste or go in flight;for the LORD will go before you,the God of Israel will be your rear guard.Chambers assures us that as we go forth into the coming year, “let it not be in the haste of impetuous, unremembering delight, nor with the flight of impulsive thoughtlessness, but with the patient power of knowing that the God of Israel will go before us.”Our world likes to head off in haste, sometimes without remembering with humility what’s past.Or, perhaps I should be honest about myself. I often head off in haste without remembering where I’ve come from and what the Lord has done in my life. Remembering takes time. One must slow down, sit down, and dig down.Part of New Year’s Eve is best spent looking back and remembering with gratitude what the Lord has accomplished. I have cause to celebrate many moments and events as I think back on the year or years before–joys and surprises, insights and encouragement, laughter and love, disciplining and pruning, growth and change.In remembering, however, I dredge up regrets, as well…opportunities lost. Duties neglected. Love left unspoken. Failures. Harsh words slipping out. Goals unmet. Deadlines missed and late fees shelled out. Sins committed, confessed, repented of.Chambers acknowledges this, as well. “Our yesterdays present irreparable things to us; it is true that we have lost opportunities which will never return, but…”(take note of what he says next, because it is key to looking ahead)”…God can transform this destructive anxiety into a constructive thoughtfulness for the future.”And that’s how I like to approach any kind of review and goal-setting–with constructive thoughtfulness, resting in Christ for what is past and what is yet to come.I would like to offer Chambers’ closing words as the closing words for 2008 on my blog, before the ball drops, the calendar page turns, and the permalink date on my posts pops up one number to 2009:Leave the Irreparable Past in His hands, and step out into the Irresistible Future with Him.