For the ancient Hebrews the heart was the center of the person. Rather than being the seat of emotion it was the place of one’s character, understanding, and will. In modern terms we speak of the mind to indicate one’s consciousness and use heart to talk about feelings.
Jesus invites us to be aware of both mind and heart in our life journeys in order to experience the Divine and the Gospel message in all aspects of our living. In Eugene Peterson’s translation of the Bible, he offers these words in Matthew’s account of the Beatitudes;
“You’re blessed when you get your inside world—your mind and heart—put right. Then you can see God in the outside world” (Matthew 5: 8 The Message)
Let’s hold on to these words as we consider our invitation to “Be still before the Lord and wait patiently”. (Psalm 37: 7)
Patience, patience, patience is the drumbeat of this psalm. In the midst of our fast-moving lives and unfolding circumstances that seem to push and pull us through life, we hear, “Be still before the Lord and wait patiently”.
My personal journey has led me to a place that considers the human experience as one that exhibits something I like to call the 3 W’s. Wondering, Wandering and Waiting. I believe that we are always engaging in the 3 W’s and not in any particular order. While wondering and wandering come easy to us, waiting does not come so easily. We are restless, sitting and waiting is hard. In a conversation I had recently with a much younger friend I recall saying these words,
“Why do we spend the first half of our lives wishing we were older and the second half wishing we were younger?”
The psalmist invites us to chill. Step off that treadmill of life and take rest, reflect on what’s happening in the world around you and within you. Take refuge in love and discover that confidence is the colleague of patience. The psalmist urges patient confidence in the future that God is preparing as well as a good way for the present time: faithfulness, self-awareness, righteousness, and devotion. This can empower us and encourage us to actively pursue that which furthers God’s purposes as well as that which builds a meaningful, purpose filled life.
As this crazy Pandemic continues and more uncertainties come our way I will remind us that have come too far and learned too much to pretend that we have not changed. We see differently now - ourselves, each other, our world. We see where we are broken, where we are lost, and where we can heal.
Once again we stand at a threshold of transformation, let's expect with hope. Let's look for connection. Let's give and receive love. It's the common things, those we take for granted, that God uses to illuminate our awakening.
May the Spirit help us to respond to the Psalmist’s invitation to be still before the Lord and wait patiently, may we then hear Jesus’ invitation, “Be easy on people; you’ll find life a lot easier. Give away your life; you’ll find life given back, but not merely given back, given with bonus and blessing. Giving, not getting, is the way. Generosity begets generosity”
Peace be Yours PT.
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