I got back into writing by sort of “insta-blogging” about a verse of the day from Air1 or You Version’s bible app about a year ago. When I got really intentional about it being the first thing I did each day, I’m embarrassed to admit how it changed my thinking and how the words affected me. I mean, I love Jesus. Boldly love Jesus and yet, here I was surprised at what He was able to do when I gave Him the first moments of my morning each day.
The reflections I wrote almost daily came across to other people as wisdom. Ha! That’s really kind of people to say but 80, maybe even 90%, of those words were what I was saying to myself to keep moving forward; keep putting one foot in front of the other. It was self-talk and an attempt to follow the idea of “Speak the stuff you want to be true and it will come true.” So, while I am humbled and grateful that people found something for themselves in my words, it also felt a bit inauthentic because they weren’t meant for them and crept toward a place of fulfilling (again) other people’s expectations of me. I was caught between it being a “have to” rather than a “want to” because people talked about how much they missed it when I skipped a day. When I took my social media sabbatical, I expected the pressure to end but had no intention of ending the habit of starting my day in reflection. But we’re human, right?
I kept reading the verses first thing each morning but it pretty much stopped there. It became a “check the box” so Jesus knows your present but I gave almost no time to really take a moment with the words in front of me. Within just days the words, that for nearly a year felt like they were picked just for me, now felt completely random. Pen to paper writing is a skill that I’d excelled at for years; a psych med made it nearly impossible and, while I’m getting better at finding my words, the ability to physically put them on paper ramps up my anxiety. Shouldn’t have been a surprise when I quit typing the reflections that I’d stop reflecting all together – I am not an internal processor so thoughts have to be expressed in some way for me to feel like I am giving them the space they need to develop.
Yesterday morning’s verse felt like it was meant for me for the first time in a long time. I was talking to my mom while walking a golf course to watch J and C play in a tourney this weekend; we differ politically and that’s okay but it sometimes feels like tiptoeing across a field of landmines. And a round of tourney golf takes about 5 hours so there is a lot of time spent trying to navigate some of those landmines. I thought this verse was timely because it answered the central theme of our discussion: “Our world is a chaotic mess but how do we even begin to heal the divide?”
Him. We start with Him. And a serious look at ourselves. If you’re a Christian and reading this, we start with who He called us to be. No judgement or retaliation or beating our beliefs down the throats of others. No personal agendas. His agenda. The leaders around us that call themselves Christians, we hold accountable to these “how to succeed” instructions given to His chosen people. Jesus didn’t do anger and unforgiveness (okay once but His Daddy’s house was being treated like a marketplace). We live and feed off a world of anger and divide that He never intended to exist beyond an empty grave. These words from 5 B.C. hold as much, if not more, wisdom now than they did thousands of years ago.
Grateful for the reminder from Him: “Turn back to Me and watch what I can do.” ♥