Sunday, September 20, 2009

Blizzard

I worked through the questions that are the homework for the last session in our cell group Bible Study on emotionally healthy spirituality. The lesson had a story from a book by Parker Palmer, A Hidden Wholeness, that told of farmers, years ago, during severe blizzards in the Midwest, tying ropes around themselves when they went out to the barn to feed their animals. Without the rope, farmers could become disoriented and freeze to death in the blinding snow.

The questions were searching and caused me to confront what it is that I allow to obscure God in my life, losing myself spiritually--and what gets lost when that happens. Then the final question asked what "threads" I would use to make my rope to help me stay connected to God.

So often I feel that I need to go back and repeat lessons that I thought I had learned. I wonder if that will ever change? I hope so! But I suppose that the point is not self condemnation; the point is never giving up.

I want to get it right. It's a no brainer really. Everything I do will shine brighter, more intensely and with more purpose and creativity if I do. I'm close enough to the "home stretch" of my life to feel a sense of urgency to figure it out.

A quote I had copied on a scrap of note paper says, "They would rather you brought Jesus than your knowledge or thoughts."

And I know that's what I want to do. More times than I wish, I have given him the leftovers from my day. God has to be more than one of the good things in my life; he has to be the most important thing.

Psalm 63:1-8 (Amplified Bible)
A Psalm of David; when he was in the Wilderness of Judah.

1 O GOD, You are my God, earnestly will I seek You; my inner self thirsts for You, my flesh longs and is faint for You, in a dry and weary land where no water is.
2 So I have looked upon You in the sanctuary to see Your power and Your glory.
3 Because Your loving-kindness is better than life, my lips shall praise You.
4 So will I bless You while I live; I will lift up my hands in Your name.
5 My whole being shall be satisfied as with marrow and fatness; and my mouth shall praise You with joyful lips
6When I remember You upon my bed and meditate on You in the night watches.
7For You have been my help, and in the shadow of Your wings will I rejoice.
8My whole being follows hard after You and clings closely to You; Your right hand upholds me.


3 comments:

Susan said...

I am heading off into my day with a renewed desire to "follow hard after God - to cling closely..." and wanting more than ever to "get it right".

Thanks Belinda, for this beautiful exhortation.

mercygraceword said...

Belinda,
I talked to a young man at church today who has just finished his degree and started working in his field of environmental science. He is already feeling stretched beyond meaningful involvement by the number of activities, causes, responsibilities he's being asked to be part of. I told him I hoped he might learn from the mistakes of "seniors" like me and commit to not giving God his leftover time. The preaching of the word this morning had been on our need to know God above and beyond all else.
I'm thankful to God for the reinforcing beauty of your post.
Deborah
Thanks for the conversation and the listening ear last week, have a wonderful vacation!

Suz said...

Thanks for the lesson that we all need. I will go and get the book you are studying. It sounds good. Remember, God doesn't expect us to be perfect just to try. We will never "get it" all. We see througha glass darkly but then we will see face to faace. That gives me hope.