What calls your name in the morning? Upon awakening, and putting your feet on the floor, what beckons you into the day?
. . . the aroma of fresh-brewed coffee?
. . . pets to greet?
. . . a precious baby to pick up?
. . . the adventure of a new day?
. . . the responsibilities that await you?
Maybe any or all, and while some things contribute to your sense of well being, others may make you want to climb back in bed. Hmmm. Pictured is a shot I captured not far from Dylan's place in Sandy, Utah. I love this photo because it brings to mind that the Light is always there - if I will choose to see it.
Been learning about sheep, looking again at Psalm 23, and one thing I know for sure--I will never be a sheep rancher! It is one thing to hold a little lamb in Bethlehem and quite another to regularly tend sheep who require more than one would think to be healthy--like ointment in their noses to keep flies from laying eggs....ew - who knew? We’ve looked over David’s shoulder as he wrote the beloved 23rd psalm, line by line:
The Lord is my Shepherd; I shall not want. I will choose to be content, not growing weary of what it means to learn the ways of godly contentment.
He lets me rest in green meadows; God offers sustenance…
he leads me beside peaceful streams. He alone offers true peace.
He renews my strength. Jesus invites us to Come to him, and he will give us rest.
~>He guides me along right paths, bringing honor to his name.
Another translation of that same verse:
~>He leads me in paths of righteousness for his name's sake.
stay with me here. Paths. Most of us have a choice about the different paths we take - but only one will truly satisfy. And that is the way of the Good Shepherd. How to know the way he is leading? How to know I am on the right path?
As for me, I walk the path that leads me to Him first thing in the morning. That looks like a cup of dark, hot coffee, with steamed half and half next to my chair along with Bible, Moleskine journal and pen. Now that it is warmer at 6 am, I do this in my backyard with chickens scratching around, birds chirping in the trees and the squirrels looking for mischief.
I choose to hang out with God first. And so I write,
‘I walk to you my Good Shepherd this morning~
to be in your presence
to learn from your words
to get re-connected to you
to be centered
to be filled
to be sent.'
Daily I ask God for wisdom and leading for the day, and I ask for his favor on me as well.2,3
And then, besides lifting up those I love and those who I know are in need of a touch from him . . . I give to God what I am carrying.
Hmmm. Picture with me a lady riding down a path on her bicycle, hair blowing in the wind. Her old bicycle has a saddlebag on each side of the back wheel. Now imagine with me that in those saddlebags are the burdens she carries in her life-- specific concerns about the future, about _____, ______ . . . She deliberately stops her bicycle near Jesus who is sitting on a bench alongside the path and intentionally removes each item from the right bag and then moves around to the left, and then- well then . . . says, “I give each and all of these, all of these to you, dear Lord.
Please work in each situation, and also show me any action I should take.”
Right then, the divine transaction takes place--this one that Paul talked about:
Don’t worry about anything; instead, pray about everything.
Tell God what you need, and thank him for all he has done.
Then you will experience God’s peace,
which exceeds anything we can understand.
His peace will guard your hearts and minds as you live in Christ Jesus.4
That was it - the path that leads to being found.
His presence, his words, my re-connecting to him to start the day,
the assurance that he will lead me on the path that will honor him today.
Sigh. I think of these words that remind me to listen for my shepherd’s voice--
whether you turn to the right or to the left,
you will hear a voice behind you saying
this is the way - walk in it.5
Good Plans? a song ~ https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=y6Zipfza6B0
We have a Good Shepherd if we will just follow him.
1 - Moleskines are my preferred lined journals
2 - James 1.5
3 - Psalm 90.17
4 - Philippians 4.6-7
5 - Isaiah 30.21