Reading, Teaching, Learning

Wednesday, February 11, 2015

Spiritual Journey Thursday - LOOK




     I look forward to Thursdays when I can publish thoughts on my spiritual journey and hear the thoughts of others on a weekly theme topic.  It has become a space for an encouraging and fortifying community to come together.  We welcome anyone who would like to join us!
For the next month and a half, we are writing about the Spiritual Journey Thursday community's One Little Words.  We'd love for you to join us!  If you have a OLW and would like us all to write about it, let me know in the comments below or on Twitter (@muellerholly), and I will add you to our calendar.
This week we are writing about Justin Stygles's word, LOOK. 

 
     "Once again I'll go over what God has done; lay out on the table the ancient wonders; I'll ponder all the things you've accomplished, and give a long, loving look at your acts." - Psalm 77: 11-12
 
Read the whole Psalm here (The Message translation).
 
     Oh, Asaph!  He was quite dramatic and woeful in the beginning of this Psalm.  Isn't that what happens to all of us when we look inward?  When we look to our devices to solve problems?  All we see inside is anxiety, doubt, despair, and incompetence.  We try so hard to control situations and are filled with worries when we finally realize we can't.  We wake up in cold sweats, hearts racing, minds ruminating/looping.  We can't do anything on our own that is worthwhile.  We don't know what the best decisions are most of the time.  We must look upward with faith and confidence; thank Him for what He is already doing on our behalf.  When we start to get sidetracked and feel the doubt Asaph feels, we need to remember how great God really is.  All the evidence points toward God working things out for good.  I've seen this over and over, and yet, I still get all angsty sometimes - just like Asaph!
 
     This turning over control and looking upward is counter-cultural.  How many self-help books are published each year?  How many "inspiring" speeches have told you to follow your heart?  How many times are you told YOU shape your own destiny and have control over your own lives?  Of course, we can and should use our intellects, decision-making skills, best judgments, and experiences to help shape our futures, but full control is an illusion.  God is the only one with full control.  We can't see what He sees - the whole picture - the messiness turned into beauty.  We can only avoid great anxiety by looking to Him to take that control back from us.  When we give it back to Him, we feel the great relief, confidence, and joy that Asaph feels at the end of his Psalm:
 
     "O God! Your way is holy!  No god is great like God!  You're the God who makes things happen; you showed everyone what you can do --" - Psalm 77: 13-15
 
      We sing the song in the video below in church often.  When we do, its lyrics run through my mind for days afterward.  The word always make me smile.  Open our eyes, Lord, so we can LOOK to You!
 

FEBRUARY 19th: Greg Armamentos's OLW, DIVE
FEBRUARY 26th: Ramona Behnke's OLW, STRETCH 

Let me know if you'd like for us to write about YOUR OLW in 2015, and I'll add you to the schedule.  I'm already sad that we're nearing the end of our OLWs!

1 comment:

  1. Holly,
    It is interesting to me that two words you used were used by me too: look inward and upward. I do often look inside to hear my breath and heart as we do in yoga but I agree that in faith I can find true content. It is the Lord whom I look to for full peace. Thank you for the great Michael Smith song. I was also going to use one of sings but decided to use another YouTube selection. I love finding just the right song and scripture to make the offering complete.

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