stability

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I want every single portion of God’s inspired word to have a chance at my heart.
I don’t want a single issue in my soul to remain unmoved because I wasn’t
careful to expose myself to the full breadth of His wisdom and revelation.
I expect God to surprise me with insight from what I might have thought to
be the most unlikely portions of His words.
I want the full package, so I read the full package.

—from Secrets of the Secret Place by Bob Sorge

This weekend contained what I affectionately call Super Saturday.

For most of the nearly 21 years we have lived in our home, Carl has summoned his

work weary body to play early morning basketball.

He is a superhero in my book on the court as well as in winning the dark morning battle

against the comforter.

I call these Saturday mornings “super” because I am able to

rise a little a lot later than Carl and bask in the quiet of the house.

I spend time in the Word, perhaps catch up on a Bible study I am

doing with friends and can joyfully linger longer than on normal rushed mornings.

I pray and sometimes read a book.

I am recovered.

On Super Saturdays, I can luxuriate for an hour or more in the silence.

The curve of my soul longs for space, time and solitude.

Over the years there have been any number of combinations of slumbering

children pressed into beds on Saturday morning.

The youngest member of our tribe is made in the image of his hoops playing dad and

rarely sleeps long enough to my liking.

Super Saturdays are a gift I spread my arms

wider to greedily receive.

I resist the pull of extended slumber.

I don’t mind seeing my dog waiting at the bottom of our

steps.

We both are looking for an open door.

I fill a glass of water and prepare the kettle for tea.

I slide into my chair and exhale.

I breath out because I don’t want to inhale the chatterbox telling me,

I don’t have enough time, 

someone will wake up any moment,

aren’t you still tired.

I simply keep breathing and dive in that very second.

I write out a Psalm, read and pray through passages of scripture.

Upon reflection, I discover I have spent time in

old and new,

poetry, letters and history.

When the last verse is consumed I feel

flooded by the synergy of the passages.

I have one more day of reading in  Deuteronomy.

There has been an undulating rhythm in reading this time,

God, your God seems to open each verse.

There in the silence I whisper as well,

God, my God,

you are the one who ties each

verse from beginning to finale.

You are the one who invites me along despite my failings. 

You have intertwined me with your plans, purposes and promises.

Every plea I utter falls on open and affectionate ears.

As if the spell is broken I hear feet sliding

down carpeted stairs.

This sacred sequestered morning with my

Maker has informed my heart deep enough

to offer welcome to my semi-conscious son

instead of feeling interrupted. (Progress!)

Later in the kitchen over hot mugs of weekend fortitude,

I chat with Carl about my Super Saturday.

He says,

“This must feel like stability since you have been reading
the last couple of days.”

I respond with a grin,

Oh I like that word Carl.
Stability.
Thank you for saying that.

I’m going to hold onto
that word for a while.”

This response actually came an hour later, when I was finishing

a book and Carl was performing more heroic feats over

our bills.

What I immediately said to Carl was reflexive,

my default

steeped in

the school of perfection

and performance.

I have come to see them as twin idols flanking my mantle.

“Well, yeah, but I have been reading everyday.”

I voice my deep wonder about God and without

missing a breath, I feel the need to point out my “spotless” record.

Stability is found hanging out with the one who holds

the substance of my life in His hands.

Showing up is a discipline and doesn’t add tally marks to my worth.

I am stabilized when I exchange my horizontal posture

for a vertical position before Him.

Some days I am fortified by allowing Him to love me while

my head continues to dent my pillow.

God is all parts stability and this is a beautiful blessed reality.

A welcome relief to my soul.

I can find Him in 5-minute segments or occasional

Super Saturdays.

God in all His awe-inspiring stability makes every day super.

 

 

kept by walking

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I blame the gravitational pull of my mattress.

I was determined to keep my walking date with myself on Saturday.

I slept later than I wanted perhaps not longer than I needed.

As I pulled on my shoes, I noticed a few dots of water scattered

upon finger smudged panes.

Dismissing my thoughts of “it’s going to pour” or “gosh, it’s colder outside than I realized”,

I instructed my feet to step away from the house.

We have the pleasure of living two short blocks away from a city park complete with a

sunken rose garden.

I decided to circle the park a few times.

As you probably surmised, the heavens opened with applause at my

triumphant bed defeat with pelting rain.

As I neared the rose garden, the covering of trees spreads out and

I felt every raindrop multiply and the wind force pushing me back to

my starting point.

Only 5 minutes had passed.

I hadn’t worked up a sweat.

It was too cold actually.

I should go home and choose another day, my mind encouraged.

I kept placing heel in front of toe.

Once I reached the far side of the park and would soon re-enter the

intense weather chamber, I noticed the expanse of fir trees.

I looked down at the paved portion of my path and realized the cement was dry.

Not one droplet of rain had been allowed to penetrate the earth below.

I tilted my head back and gazed at branches imitating a cathedral

of hands interlocked in prayer.

This was a place of protection.

A sanctuary of peace from the storm.

Maybe I should walk back and forth along this untouched road.

I’d be warm and dry and less tossed about by mighty gusts.

My feet kept walking.

Often we feel unprepared and an ill-equipped match for the prevailing winds.

My park circles reminded me of the inevitability and strength of storms.

Storms wrestle us from our slumber and announce their presence.

We must keep walking.

Each step leads closer to the prized destination.

We may question our resolve to keep moving

until

the height,

the length,

the width

and

the breadth

of God’s arms

encloses us,

shelters us,

protects us,

speaks peace over us,

comforts us,

and simply is present with us.

He reaches into the waters which threaten

to drown and

clasps His spirit with ours and

gives us strength to keep in step with Him.

He is the most welcome respite in

times of persistent onslaught.

We will get wet.

We will be chafed by the wind.

We may feel we are circling a path in a cold

wilderness but we are not left alone.

We must keep walking.

It’s the only way to get home.