Good Practices


Those two words are reverberating through me today as I once again try to foster discipline in my life–to spend time with Jesus, to pray, to examine my day with purpose, to eat well, to worship in song, to exercise, to bless my children with attention and prayers, to read out loud to my kids, to be alive in the moment.

These are all things I desire. These are all things I know will deepen my relationships, my resolve to follow Jesus.

Why is it so hard to do these things, then? Why is it so hard to run away from good practices? Ah, I can be so lazy, so self-slothful. But today’s a new day, a clean piece of lined paper full of possibilities. As I ran in the neighborhood, then through the park, I sensed God whisper the word Sanctuary to me. He did it as I watched birds pecking at food from a feeder. I want my home to be that kind of place–a place of sustenance, a place of invitation, a place of welcome. But to have that, I must first have His sanctuary ways deep in my heart.

I remembered the line of an old Kim Hill song:

“You are my lifeline. You are my sanctuary. You are my torchlight. This is my testimony.”

He is all those things. But I’m afraid in the rush-rush of to do lists and the frenetic pace of this life, we forget His sanctuary ways. We forget to take shelter under His wings, preferring to try to fly on our own cardboard wings. We flap longer, faster, thinking we’ll finally fly, only to crash to the ground in a heap, wondering why God didn’t help us fly. He didn’t because we didn’t need Him.

This world is an illusion, a matrix if you will, full of bells and whistles and attractions. We chase crazily after all of it, only to grasp at air. What is real is this: eternity. Jesus. Relationships. Prayer. Hope. Words.

I fear we spend most of our days chasing unreality while the reality chases us and we never turn around. And then we collapse under the fatigue of all that running, unsatisfied, needy.

Jesus, forgive us all for forsaking You, the fountain of Living Water, and digging ourselves into cisterns that can hold no water. Forgive us for flying on cardboard wings, chasing after illusions. Forgive us for being far too busy for Your voice, Your beckoning, Your strength. We are a tired people, Lord. We are needy. But we don’t run to You for sustenance. We keep at our pace, forgetting Your sanctuary. Bring us back. Forgive us our busyness. Center us on Your heartbeat. Keep us close to Your wings, Your breath, Your sustenance. We are tired of running on empty. Forgive us. Oh dear Jesus, forgive us. We want to rest in Your forgiveness today. Now. In this moment. Stop us. Help us to choose the art of stopping long enough to smell the air of rest, to revel in Your beckoning. You are good. You are strong. You are our hope. You are the reason we live, move, breathe. You are everything. But we think we are. Forgive us. Renew us. Settle us. Rectify us. Imbue peace where rushing and hurry just lived.

Scripture for meditation:

“For My people have committed two evils: They have forsaken Me, The fountain of living waters, To hew for themselves cisterns, Broken cisterns That can hold no water” Jeremiah 2:13.

Psalm 39

3 The more I thought about it,
the hotter I got,
igniting a fire of words:
4 “LORD, remind me how brief my time on earth will be.
Remind me that my days are numbered—
how fleeting my life is.
5 You have made my life no longer than the width of my hand.
My entire lifetime is just a moment to you;
at best, each of us is but a breath.” Interlude

6 We are merely moving shadows,
and all our busy rushing ends in nothing.
We heap up wealth,
not knowing who will spend it.

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