It is a cold morning as I put these words on this screen. It is too early and very quiet in our house. Each sip of this hot coffee seems just right.
Yesterday was a long day. In many ways, it was a frustrating day. I was busy and yet seemed to get so little done. I remember at one point looking at the clock and it was almost lunch. I felt like I had accomplished nothing that morning. Then much later in the day, I had a meeting in which I made a presentation. I wasn’t pleased with that either. Somehow, I did not do a very good job of communicating what I had been thinking or even what was on my heart. I drove home from that meeting last evening feeling entirely dissatisfied with the day. Do you relate to this?
Then last night I came home and our home seemed especially warm. Charlotte was home with Jamie and Richard (Jamie’s boyfriend from Scotland). I enjoy so much having them in our house. After I had been home about twenty minutes, Christy, Andy, and Eric came in (all Jamie’s friends from high school). Energy, noise, and laughter filled the room. (They had been in our house for about ten minutes when Andy said that they wanted to look at the pictures on all of my old driver’s licenses again. I think they are amazed at the hair from some of those years.) It was great! It reminded me of those years in high school when I never knew how many would be in our house. Even more importantly, it reminded me that my day was not defined by accomplishment and achievement. While those factors are an important part of my life, nothing replaces relationships.
Last Sunday in our church, James Russell (a thirty-year-old husband and father from New Mexico) told of how wonderful it is to go home. He spoke of how he and his family would in a few days travel home to New Mexico for Christmas. He said that no matter what time of the night or early morning they arrived, his mom would be waiting up for them. He went on to say that God is like that. His arms are open and he wants us to be at home with him.
I have thought about this a number of times since then. No matter what, I am at home with God where all is well.
Yesterday morning, I sat down at this same kitchen table, at this same place and began my day by reading the Bible. Lately, I have been reading five Psalms each morning and then a few chapters from Isaiah. I have noticed that most of the time, when I am reading these chapters, I feel at home. I don’t know how else to describe it. There is just this sense that I am beginning the day right and that all is well as I listen to God. I have also noticed that when I miss this reading, when I begin my day in a different sort of way, the day just feels different. (I don’t know any other way to describe it.)
So today I will go to work again. I would like to accomplish more and to get a few more things done. The next time I give a presentation, I would like to communicate better. Yet, I know that my life is so much more than this. My life today is centered around the one I need most.
In Mark E. Thibodeaux’s little book Armchair Mystic (p. 16), he speaks of the comfort of knowing that God desires to be with each one of us.
…In the same way, all I need to do in order to reach God is to reach for God. I should do myself a favor and memorize this line: To reach for God is to reach God. I will have to remind myself of this whenever I feel tempted to believe that God will only come to me if I find the magic book, say the magic formula and become the perfect pray-er. I should trust that God is present to me any time I stretch out my feeble little spiritual arms.
I hope that in some way this is encouraging to you today. Your significance is so much more than your accomplishment and achievement today. Your significance is rooted in your relationship with the one who matters most. Perhaps you don’t need to hear this.