Friday, September 19, 2014

O Taste and See that the Lord is Good!

“O taste and see that the Lord is good!”
-Psalm 34:8

 Over the past two years, this verse has touched me again and again. It has reminded me of just how good the Lord is. This verse has also challenged me to activity savor the Lord’s goodness, instead of taking it for granted. I need to actively taste the blessings God has placed in my life; I must consciously see how good he has been to me.

 A few weeks ago, sitting on our front porch in the morning before work, these words came to in a prayer:

 Quiet moments in the garden this morning;
         all is at rest as the world awakens to a new day.
     The gentle breeze whispers peace to all who will hear;
         my soul is stilled as it waits upon God’s grace anew.

O taste and see the goodness of the Lord!
         It flows in all of creation and fills the whole earth,
     supplying both sun and rain to green garden and field,
         offering both work and rest to give wholeness to my life today.

Let me overlook none of the kindness that surrounds me this morning,
         and take not for granted his gifts beyond measure.
     He bids me lie down in soft pastures
         and surrounds me with tree, rock, soil, and quiet water.

 Thank you, Good Shepherd, for supplying all that I need,
         abundantly giving so I shall want nothing,
     preparing before me a feast like a banquet,
         with your goodness and mercy attending all my needs.

Bless you, Creator Almighty, for your goodness
         that embraces me morning by morning,
     and for your care that silently enfolds me,
         and satisfies the deepest longings of my heart.


© 2013 Glenn E. Myers

Monday, September 8, 2014

Centered or Scattered?

“Thou wilt keep him in perfect peace, whose mind is stayed on thee:
because he trusteth in thee.”
-Isaiah 26:3

What would it be like going through my whole day being centered? How can I navigate all the ups and downs and the distractions of life while keeping an inner focus on the Lord?

Inner-Most Center
The Quakers (Friends) offer us a wonderful concept of being “centered.” To be centered is to maintain an inner anchor even when the winds are howling about us. It means remaining connected to the Lord at one level even when our conscious thoughts are busy at school or work. It entails the inner-most part of our lives resting secure in an unseen reality that transcends the time-space world around us with all its contingencies and change.

Remaining centered is more easily said than done. How often we muddle through the day, being anything but centered. Instead, our minds are scattered, racing from one responsibility to another. Our activities are scrambled as we attempt to multitask in our effort to save time. Our focus is disjointed as we try to keep up with all the demands and phone calls, people and responsibilities, in our lives. So many things can throw us off center!

Throughout the day when we realize we have been knocked off center, it is important not to become frustrated because that makes us even more internally fragmented. Rather than becoming flustered, we simply need to reorient ourselves toward that quiet place within where God is in charge. The Good Shepherd is ready throughout the day to lead us to inner green pastures and still waters that restore our fraying souls.

In practice we need to regroup internally periodically through the day. Mentally standing back from all the pressures and frustrations, we tune our mind afresh to God’s presence inside of us and God’s sovereignty over the situations surrounding us. We center ourselves again on God’s grace. Even as we need to concentrate on the work at hand, we focus the inner eye of our souls on the safe place where the Almighty offers us genuine peace. Indeed, God will “keep him in perfect peace, whose mind is stayed” on the Lord!

© 2014 Glenn E. Myers