Waiting in the White Space

It’s the first real Monday of 2020. The holidays are over. Routine is back. To me, January feels like starting a brand-new journal. Every page is white, ready for new words. The possibilities of what those words will say – of what adventure they describe – are endless. And that makes me excited!

My temptation is to quickly fill in that white space with my hopes and plans, creating a strategy for the year that will make God proud. But this year, I read something that has made me pause, and stare at that white space a little longer before I break the silence with my words.

In John 13:31-38, Jesus in a way, gives His disciples a piece of blank paper and then walks away, leaving them to figure out what to do next. Dishes from The Last Supper have just been cleared, and Judas has just left the room after Jesus told him, “What you are about to do, do quickly.”

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What Does “Peace on Earth” Look Like?

A few days ago my daughter Mackenzie asked if I would help her on an assignment in her online guitar class. Now this doesn’t happen often, because she is the expert in music not me!

The assignment taught some basic guitar skills along with reading music. I whizzed through the instructions quickly assuming Mackenzie understood those things and just needed help understanding how she was supposed to put it all together.

That’s when she told me “Everyone thinks because I’ve been playing guitar for a long time that I know how to read music but I don’t. No one taught me that at the beginning. I just started out just learning the chords and not the individual string/note names.”

That kinda amazed me but looking back, it was true!

Well the devotional I read today in My Utmost for His Highest reminded me of this conversation and how we can do the same thing spiritually, especially during the Christmas season.

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The Unprepared Host

Have you ever noticed it’s not always what people say that makes an impact but what they don’t say? Some may call it reading between the lines, but often what’s not spoken can give perspective and context to what is spoken.

Jesus is a Master at this…

Last Sunday morning I read John 6, which is such a familiar passage to me I almost skipped over it all together. It’s one the kids have dressed up and reenacted with picnic baskets, red tablecloths, furry beanie babies and colorful plastic food. It’s the story of Jesus feeding the 5 thousand.

Scripture tells me that the words contained in Genesis through Revelation are living words. They are inspired words from God. If they weren’t, they’d be like a book on the bookshelf – a story I’ve already read and don’t really want to read again because I know what’s going to happen next. But the Bible isn’t like that to me. It’s like a fresh water stream. Each time I read, I see a new perspective, a new detail and it’s fresh information again!

That’s what happened to me with this “children’s” story. All of a sudden I didn’t just see the characters interacting with one another and the lines I almost have memorized. I saw Jesus interacting with people He cared about. Friends. This was an intentional time with those men and it was intentionally recorded for me to read.

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Making Time for Special Things

One of my goals this year is to do things that are special. And by special I mean those things that when I do them, time stops. I can’t tell if 5 minutes or 5 hours have gone by.

When I make these special things a priority, I feel an increased capacity to deal with the daily problems. Whether it’s figuring out how to diagram direct objects or explaining how to reduce fractions, somehow I have more to give than when I chased getting all the things done and pushed off doing my special thing until the work was done.

I often think of the verse in Hebrews that says, ”…He [Jesus] sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.” (Heb 10:12) When Jesus finished his work, He sat down. I try to emulate that and not sit down till I’m finished. The problem is, I’m never finished. There are always more dishes to wash – or unload, more clothes to wash – or fold – or put away – or what’s that called – iron?! There’s always more I think I need to do.

Finding time to do special things feels like a reward I need to earn and so it gets pushed back to tomorrow, and tomorrow and next Wednesday, and when I can do a better job, be more organized, not have so much going on, when the kids aren’t toddlers, or teenagers, when I’m not tired, when I don’t have to wash my hair…

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