My day often starts out in my living room with some much needed and very enjoyable God-time. I’ve never been a fan of the term “quiet-time” even though I don’t talk out loud – and I do like it to be quiet except for the occasional non-lyrical song.
I prefer to think of this time as “exercising-my-soul-while-practicing-the presence-of-God” but that’s a bit hard to sum up in a simple phrase like God-time or quiet-time. And frankly I’m still searching for that just-right-phrase that doesn’t make me sound too sanctimonious for the rest of the world – not that they care – but I digress as usual.
I have a couple practices, during this time, before I culminate the whole process by writing God. I’d call it praying – but as you may know by now it’s more conversational pondering about life in general and specifics.
Like this …
Holy God, why do I seem to forget your ways as quickly as I do? I hate that about myself – I hate being bogged down in my own head with thoughts that are false – and even if they are true – why should I care? Why do I need the approval of others? Is it a natural human tendency that needs to be rooted out daily – one of those besetting sins – that I can never wrap my head around?
Besetting … hmmmm … [trouble or threaten persistently] – yes – I may not remember what the word means but I definitely have the issue.
So I repent – confess – and ask You to uproot it and destroy it so that I would quit it – I do long for that. Funny how some sins we love and others we really hate – and I wish I hated all the others as much as I hate this one. I love you Lord – may I rest in your light and glory and not try and create something in my own mind – but allow You to excite me with your ways – they truly are higher. Amen.
… now to the rest of the day …
rushing to get ready … very low maintenance woman … jump in my car … 45 minute drive to my work place … listening to the Brooklyn Tabernacle Choir … music that truly aides in lifting my emotional well-being.
My “aha moment” comes 24 hours later …
It was the next morning when I realized how grand yesterday was – because! … I realized that God had taken my sin (that besetting one) and replaced it with His grace and goodness! He let me take my eyes off myself – and my need to win everyone’s approval – and put the focus on him and others. Now that – in my opinion – is truly miraculous. And extraordinary and not-so-typical-kind-of-day.
And – best of all – incredibly FREEING!
Can I just tell you how free I felt all day?! My trek home was even more enjoyable than my trek in (and that was listening to XM’s Bridge station).
So, this is what I wrote God just a moment ago:
Oh Lord, yesterday started off so icky – and by the time I arrived to my work place I was high on You – and it was good – to just revel in You – and to forget the world for a while – and to focus on Jesus – and His love and goodness to me – oh how refreshing it was – the whole day – to truly “rise above it” – practicing your presence and reveling in the knowledge of you – thank you for that – restoring my joy to overflowing – I wish I could maintain that level of emotion every day of my life – but somehow I don’t even think it is practical – it takes the struggle and lessons to make me more like Jesus – and often that doesn’t look like a day to feel so positively free – that is what it was – this freeing day.
It reminds me of the verse in Galatians: It is for freedom that Christ has set us free, stand firm then and do not let yourselves be burdened by a yoke of slavery. (5:1)
Lord, I wish I could bottle the freedom that is found in Christ – it is the greatest freedom in the world – that raising yourself above everything that is inferior.
[back to the reader]
And now you are caught up to my pondering of how and why yesterday was simply glorious.
It reminds me of a favorite quote:
“Raise yourself above everything which is inferior to God Himself, if you want to be what he wants of you – and in doing this you will find peace in your whole being. If you would act according to the being in which God has created you, your nature would be so noble that there would be no pains which you would shun, it would be so valiant that you could not bear to leave anything undone, but you would reach out for that which is best of all, for that great oneness which is God, knowing that to be your only riches. And then in mercy you must give your riches to others, and make rich those who are poor, for those who love truly will never fail in their free gifts to those others who wish with all their heart and all their will have surrendered themselves to God’s love. True love has always given what it had to give, always conquered what it had to conquer, always withheld what it had to withhold … That is why you must choose and love God’s will alone in all things.”
Hadewijch of Brabant wrote this in c. 1200 to her son. I found it in the book In Her Words.