Friday, August 11, 2017

Renew with all your heart

Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for human masters
Colossians 3:23 (NIV)

Out with the Old

This month is an interesting one, a time to wrap up what has happened and recreate and reimagine the new school year. Customarily, it’s a time to panic. Will the challenging therapeutic, educational and other experiences of the past school year continue in the new year? The risk of obsessing is strong! As I challenge myself to prioritize my internal peace, I’m resisting panic and trying to refuel, to face what's ahead.

New Awareness

This month has been an interesting one in another way for me. I have been very moved by God’s generous care for me. I don’t think there has been any change in the reality of my day to day experience. It’s more that God has given my mind’s eye a tune up. I’ve become more aware.  I’ve noticed His Hand in some incredible conversations, beautiful connections, provision and personal insights. Throughout the month, God has kept a single message exploding in my mind. You are incredibly cared for.

Building My 6th Sense

Awareness of His Presence is like a sixth sense, something that I have to develop through exercise.  My experiences with God so far suggest that this uber-level of awareness won’t last, unless I lean into it. But leaning in takes intentionality. How should I lean in? I've decided to take
  • Time to just be (Tune In) - I’ve included a few moments of intentionally being (i.e. not doing much) and noticing all that is around me. My awareness of His Presence is triggered when I:
    • Look outside at nature's beauty
    • Pause after a flurry of morning preparations
  • Time to Receive (Imagine) - While I’m noticing, I accept that His Presence illuminates His gifts. God’s gifts are to be received, ingested and digested. When these gifts are tangible, it’s easy to ingest and utilize. But how do I ingest His Presence in the form of nature’s beauty? I’ve adopted some lessons from my kids, and use the holy practice of my imagination. The scriptures talk about God’s word as food (Psalm 119:103). Perhaps God’s words aren't just the phonetic symbols we hear and read. God speaks through the sights, sounds and other experiences we have while aware of His Presence. Extending the analogy of His word as food, I imagine the experience of receiving His presence, it coming in, filling my soul, enlarging my capacity, unearthing road blocks and energizing my daily moments.
I’ve understood the scripture in Colossians to be talking about all that I do, how I serve in my home and community. It seemed very active and my recent times spent building my awareness have not been active at all! Perhaps this verse can have a broader application. So,whatever you do, whether tuning in, refueling, reimagining, or anything else, do it with all your heart, anticipating what God will do as you travel on your special journey, in this new school year.

Dear Father, Thank you for your generous provision of all we need: the tangle and practical, and the esoteric, gentle beauty that nourishes our souls. Help us build our awareness of your Presence in these last days of summer, so the we till be better able to notice you and follow your leading as we engage the rhythms of the new school year.

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