Still in the Story

When I’m tired, the words don’t flow like they usually do. Inspiration is lost by the sheer effort needed to form cohesive thought.

But all this helps:

Watching the river roll by
Reading poetry
Swinging in the hammock
Picking wildflowers
Giggling over a funny book
Crying over a sad song
Closing all the browser tabs
Opening the King James Version
Listening for the evening robin

It’s enough, for now.

Enough to stop reaching for things and let them come to me instead.
Enough to be content without creating content.
Enough to rest and receive from the larger sweep of the narrative.

Sometimes you’re the narrator, and sometimes you’re just listening in from the edge of the firelight.

It’s ok, I tell myself. You’re still in the story.

 

~lg

S.D.G.

When you feel a little brittle

Some seasons you wake up and feel like this:

dead tree

The rest of the world is blooming and buzzing, and you are left standing apart, a little stark and a little naked. You feel brittle, and liable to snap.

You’re not quite sure what went wrong, and you didn’t really notice until everything else was green and you were not. Only there are hundreds of tiny holes in your core, and all the lifeblood must have drained out or been eaten up.

There was no disaster, no ax at the foot, no hurricane force. Just a slow and steady emptying. And it’s hard to say what’s wrong, only you’re just so tired.

And your roots are still planted by the spring, and the river runs by, but there’s no longer any shade for the little ones. The wind blows, but there are no leaves to rustle a tune.

You’re still standing, but you don’t know what to do next.

There’s this tiny sign of life, but is it enough?

new leaves

~lg

Psalm 38: The bottom of the well

Praying the Psalms

All my longings lie open before you, O LORD;
my sighing is not hidden from you.
(Psalm 38:9)

Here, at the bottom of the well, there is an emptiness. When the last trickle has drained into the cracks of the earth, there is a bareness. A stillness. If the heart is a wellspring, mine has lost its lifeblood. It is not broken, and yet its strength has failed. The light has gone from my eyes.

I hear nothing. I speak nothing. I know not what to pray.

And yet, I am not forsaken.

For here, all my longings lie open. There is nothing to hide behind. I have no defence, no strategy, not even supplication. Simply, openness.

The fear of the Lord is in this place.
And it is humility. It is trust. It is stillness.
It is longing.
It is knowing this: You see.

And so I wait.

 

~lg

S.D.G.

Psalm 32: Lead with a Look

Praying the Psalms

I will instruct you and teach you in the way which you should go;
I will counsel you with my eye upon you.
Do not be as the horse or as the mule which have no understanding,
Whose trappings include bit and bridle to hold them in check,
Otherwise they will not come near to you. 
(Psalm 32:8-9)

Oh, that I would be wiser than a mule! Let me learn this for my children as well. That the authority of the eye is far more powerful than all my angry spurs or impatient tugging. I don’t want to leave a bitter taste in their mouths.

To lead with a look – this requires trust. This requires patience. This requires relationship. Shortcuts only shortchange us all.

This is leadership by invitation, by inspiration. This is watchful, forward looking leadership. This is not reacting, threatening, or cajoling. This is a calm, composed authority.

~

Oh Lord,

I have so much to learn.

Forgive me for going astray, for wandering out the range of your whispers. Forgive me for turning my head aside to distraction.

You call me to come near, to submit to your reign. And yet your yoke is easy and your burden is light, when I keep in step with you.

You call me to refocus in your field of vision.

You set my feet on your path once again.

You say, Stop fighting, stop fuming, stop figuring it out on your own.
     I know the way.
     I am the way.
     I will lead you, and your children.
     You will learn from me.

Tender shepherd, you promise to lead us. Not by pushing and shoving, not by threatening and bribing, not by brute force.

But by trust. By gentleness. By your voice.

By your eye.

A look is all it takes.

Lord, keep our eyes on you!

 

~ lg

S.D.G.

 

 

Before you go online this morning

autumn sky

Morning.

Resist the urge to scroll, to surf, to glue myself to a screen.

The online world is so sticky. It’s not called a web for nothing.

Instead,
Look out a window.
Look into the eyes of my child.
Look into the love letter of God.

Ground myself in tangible reality:

The way the rain is pouring down the spout and knocking over blades of new green grass.
The little soul whose body needs a tickly sort of hug to set the day off right.
The invitation to “taste and see that the Lord is good,” to have breakfast with Jesus instead of a virtual buffet.

Before going online, I need to align.

Find my place in God’s story before reading a dozen others.
Orient myself to true north before wandering through all those links.
Put my priorities and plans in divine order before getting sidetracked on someone else’s agenda.

Breathe.   Pray.   Be still.

Know that He is God, and know who I am. Receive the mercies that are new this morning.

Adhere myself to Him so I won’t be caught in a day I wasn’t meant to live. Align myself with Him so I can move into the day He has for me.

***

Would you like a little help moving into the day God has for you? Subscribe to the blog and receive a free printable “Move Into Morning Prayer.” This is what helps me start my day off with prayer. Think of it as morning exercise for your spiritual life!

~ lg

S.D.G.