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Up, Up, and Away

February 12, 2008

“Give me your lantern and compass,
give me a map,
So I can find my way to the sacred mountain,
to the place of your presence,
To enter the place of worship,
meet my exuberant God,
Sing my thanks with a harp,
magnificent God, my God. (Psalm 43:3-4, The Message).This morning I had a choice.

It really was not a good morning at my house. We had a busy weekend, and my house is the obvious victim. My five-year-old has carefully arranged all her toys all over her bedroom floor, and the displays have spilled out all over the upstairs.

The laundry is in about five different piles downstairs, and the clean clothes have been mixed with dirty ones – which I hate. There are dishes sitting in old, cold, cloudy water in the sink. My birthday tulips are drooping on the dining room table.

Our family is not doing much better. I spent over twenty minutes this morning trying to use Scope and rigorous tooth-brushing to eradicate my children’s bad breath. I don’t understand why they have bad breath. I always have this fear that their preschool teachers will comment on it (“Oh, dear. Poor Lucy. Her breath is so terrible – why doesn’t her mother ever brush her teeth?”).

Besides the teeth, every person was cranky. My great Biblical lesson on “love-is-kind-so-you-be-kind-to-your-siblings” was forgotten as Strawberry Chex were flung across the breakfast table. My son was hysterical that we were late (again) to school. My husband and I spent twenty minutes talking about why we were running late and blaming each other.

By the time everyone got out the door and I made coffee, it was two hours later than I had planned to begin my day. My vision of several hours with the Lord were dashed – I would have a very short time to pray and read the Bible.

So this morning I debated. Maybe I just didn’t have the time to spend with the Lord. All the books I’ve read on prayer and talk about the importance of putting time with God first, no matter what is going on. “Everything else will fall into place,” they reassure.

But how does that look practically when my house is a serious disaster? When I’ve yelled at Hugh for getting out the door late? When I forced my son to brush his teeth so hard that he started to cry?

These are the mornings I don’t want to pray. These are the mornings I want to set out on my own and use every possible second to try to gain control of my situation – to get cleaning, get loads started, write lists of things to do for the day.

So an hour ago I stood in front of my cloudy sink. I said out loud, “Lord, I really need you today. Help me to pray this morning.”

Then I turned and walked upstairs.

I think it is symbolic for me that I pray upstairs. Every time I choose to be alone with the Father, I turn and go up. Up away from the mess that I’ve created. Up from the dishes and the yelling. Up into His arms. Up into the riches of His Word. Up into His Presence.

Last night at church we sang “Great is Thy Faithfulness”. I started to cry because this song is so true of God’s love in my life. And “morning by morning new mercies I seek.”

So this morning I sought His mercies again. I read His word and confessed the sins that had piled up in my heart. I asked Him for clarity. I prayed for strength and direction.

I chose to spend time with the Lord, and my heart is now at rest.

Lord, great is your faithfulness to me. My house is still messy, and I have a lot to do today, but now that I am filled fresh with Your Spirit, I have your Perspective again. And I feel your joy and strength again. Thank you for loving me, Lord. You are so good to me. In the name of your Son, Amen.

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2 Comments leave one →
  1. February 12, 2008 11:59 am

    wonderful choice.
    It’s a struggle for me, too from time to time.
    Each time I waffle about praying or not, I am surprised.
    I think, haven’t I already grown past this?
    Haven’t I been doing this long enough to know what I need?
    But satan is crafty.
    He’ll whisper lists of things to do in my heart instead
    Praise God that I have the choice to listen to the Voice of Truth instead

    (by the way, do you know that song, Voice of Truth? made me think of you right now 🙂 )

  2. February 12, 2008 1:28 pm

    First things first.
    If you get right with God every morning, the day will go more smoothly, and I’m preachin’ to the choir, sister.
    So glad you are getting right with Him. I’m praying for you as I tackle the mountains of laundry at my house.

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