Normally, my day begins with my Bible lesson followed by my prayerful work and then I wait for inspiration for my blog. There seemed to be no inspiration this morning as I mentally searched for an idea. As my day unfolded, one good thing after another began showing up. God was everywhere and I could see that. Then I became amused because sometime I even vote on how I feel after my prayer work or if I feel enlightened and did I do it right! Today, it was if I did nothing special at all, and I saw Love expressed all over. Of course, it is not me and I truly know that but I experienced that fact more than ever today.
Psalm 29:2 states “Ascribe to the Lord the glory due His name; worship the Lord in the splendor of His holiness.”
As I have been studying today’s Bible lesson, it mentions “Thou shalt not make unto thee any graven image,”. Soon after, an unsolicited thought pops into my head from nowhere from the past when I suddenly realized that becomes a graven image from time to time since it is not connected with joy but regret. With this gentle nudge, I began to study the 10 Commandments closer and deeper. For example “Thou shalt not take the Lord’s name in vain” means so much more to me now. Since I don’t use the word “damn” after God’s name, I thought I was home free until I realized that any comment after “I Am” that is ungodlike can be seen as blasphemous.
Hebrews 12:28-29 reads “Therefore, since we are receiving a kingdom that cannot be shaken, let us be thankful, and so worship God acceptably with reverence and awe, for our ‘God is a consuming fire.'” While studying deeper, everything becomes fresher to me rather than rote! I will look at all things anew today with childlike innocence and without judgment.
For the second time in the five years of art classes, I have taken to class a piece that at one time, I wanted to toss. Once again, my teacher patiently looks at it, giving me guidance and suggestions on how to correct the errors. Never does she condemn or criticize unkindly, but urges me onward with suggestions that will correct. This reminds me of God guiding me in times I may feel that I totally messed up and there is no way out. He doesn’t punish me nor does He condemn me but gently lifts me up to a clearer and higher view of the challenge. Graciously, my thought begins to change as I remove ego.
2 Corinthians 4:16-18 reads “Therefore we do not lose heart. Though outwardly we are wasting away, yet inwardly we are being renewed day by day. For our light and momentary troubles are achieving for us an eternal glory that far outweighs them all. So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen. For what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal.”
This morning I watched a video someone posted about a large high school choir on the balconies of a huge hotel singing “Down to the River to Pray” Acappella and it was simply beautiful. Listening to this, I was thinking of the many unselfish hours given to practicing for the joy of others. Watching the students and seeing their focus on the one Choir Director and the harmony they produced and realizing this was only possible with that one focal point and the blending came from joined efforts; not one being louder or better than another.
Then I thought of a spinning ballerina having to maintain her balance by one focal point who would otherwise become confused and dizzy. My point is by keeping my focus on God and not human circumstances, I can remain in balance. Hebrews 12:2 reads “Let us fix our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy set before Him endured the cross, scorning its shame and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.”
While studying this morning, I was reminded of how absurd human opinions can be. Since I have been on this planet, there have been certain medicines one can purchase across the counter at times while at other times they require prescriptions. Following research, often foods are detrimental to one’s health while at other times they are needed for nutrition. In the fashion world before the 60’s, the body size for a woman that was popular was short and rather sturdy; then the 60’s promoted clothing for tall thin women.
As I pondered this, it became apparent that the only constant for me has been God and His love for me. To attempt to heed human opinions seem ridiculous. Fear often stems through paying attention to “what the latest is” in beliefs, styles, etc. Excessive planning follows that line of thinking leaving God out, which, of course, is impossible. Today, my prayer is to catch my thinking early on as it begins to wander and keep my focus on God/Love. Psalm 46:10 states “Be still, and know that I am God: I will be exalted among the nations, I will be exalted in the earth.”
Last night, a family member telephoned me and we hadn’t talked in over a year. That is not unusual since this person has a history of irritating people in the family. We visited for over an hour and it was the most pleasant conversation we had ever had. As I had picked up the phone and saw the name, my first thought was “Oh no” and immediately caught my thought and quickly prayed to see God’s child instead. John 11:44 reads “And he that was dead came forth, bound hand and foot with graveclothes; and his face was bound about with a napkin. Jesus said unto them, ‘Loose him and let him go.'”
This reminded me to release preconceived opinions and know the Truth about God’s creation that He found “very good”. Being Easter week-end, I had also prayed to know that “He is risen!” and to raise my thoughts as well. Letting go of condemnation, bitterness, harsh judgments and other negativity, I am leaving room for joy!
As I greet the day with thanksgiving, briefly I think about memorable times in my life and I find it is not necessarily the large raises I may have received nor the awards or large material gifts. What comes to mind instead, is a beautiful sunrise over the mountains, something good happening to a loved one or standing in as a grandparent at school for a child that didn’t have one here. The feelings I had with human accomplishments or gifts were fleeting but the genuine ones I can call up in my memory bank and recall the actual feeling.
When I remove self as in self-righteousness, self-absorption, self-pity, self-condemnation I can get in touch with my real self; the one God knows and sees. This is when I can relate to verses like Jeremiah 31:3 which states “The Lord appeared to us in the past, saying: ‘I have loved you with an everlasting love; I have drawn you with loving-kindness.'”