Listen to the Podcast: https://www.pastorwoman.net/podcast/episode/26f0d7b7/seek-out-the-light-thrive-43
What calls your name in the morning?
Is it your first cup of coffee?
Your dogs’ needing to go outside?
Your bent to check where your stocks are trading?
or is it checking e-mail, social media or the latest news?
Maybe any or all, and what then? These can contribute to your sense of well being or make you want to climb back in bed. Hmmm. I heard from a friend this morning: "I feel lost". I am certain she is not alone right now. I want to encourage her, you, us(!) to go toward the Light! Pictured is a shot I captured in Sandy, Utah, which I love. It brings to mind that the Light is always there - if I will choose to see it.
Been learning about sheep and one thing I know for sure--I will never be a sheep rancher! I had no idea the amount of meticulous tending that sheep require to be healthy, to flourish - well, to thrive. 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.
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 says 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?
Personally, I walk the path that leads me to Him first thing in the morning. That looks like a cup of Italian Roast next to my chair along with Bible, Moleskine journal and pen (oh yeah and a couple dogs hanging around). See this morning, while my coffee brewed I made the mistake of turning on the radio which led off with … guess what? Grim news.
With that in mind and wanting to hit the reset button on my Groundhog Day, I prayed in my notebook - yes, writing, so as to guard from distraction.
‘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.
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 the burdens she carries in her life are represented by the contents in those two saddlebags: things like her specific concerns about the future, about health, _____, ______ . . . She stops her bicycle near Jesus who is sitting on a bench alongside that path, and carefully removes each item from the right bag and then moves around to the left, and then- well then . . . (because of course the lady is me), then I say, “I give each and 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
There it was - the path that leads to being found.
His presence, his words, my re-connecting to him to start the day,
and 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
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