"Preach the gospel at all times, if necessary use words." - St. Francis of Assisi

Thursday, March 06, 2014

Day 2 – Thursday after Ash Wednesday

“Be still, and know that I am God.” (Psalm 46:10)

  I don’t know about you, but when I am looking forward to something, I tend to clam up. Whether it is a test, a meeting, a trip, a doctor appointment, a new job, whatever, I withdraw into myself to prepare myself. Not everyone does this, I know, it’s just how I roll. The problem comes because I rarely find myself in a quiet place (physically or emotionally) so that I can seriously, honestly think. My world seems to always have a television on, a CD playing, an iPod in my ear, people surrounding me, computers running, noise, noise, noise. From waking up to going to bed. Noise and distractions. My mind constantly spinning about things happening, things coming up, things I’m responsible for, things I’m not responsible for. No quietness.

  In my book, “Being God’s,” I write about taking scuba lessons a number of years ago. To this day, it is still the most awesome experience imaginable. When you submerge under the water to a depth where you don’t hear any surface noises, the quiet is amazing. Words cannot describe the silence unless you’ve been there. The only sound is the quiet shussh-ing from the oxygen valves and regulators as you breathe. The beauty of the underwater world is staggering and it is impossible to not experience the presence of God. That was the first time I understood the full meaning of the verse above – “be still, and know that I am God.” It happens every time.

  As I journey through this season of Lent, I cannot grow and learn of God if I am not quiet at some point in my day. Some point where I can focus on Him alone. God. Jehovah. Yahweh. Creator. Love. My journey has to involve more quiet time; not just to read a scripture and a devotional from a book, but to be quiet and feel who God is.

  Who is He to you? Do you know? Really? If you ask me the same question, I have a difficult time answering. I know God made the world, sent His Son, and gave me a future of hope. But, those are “church” answers. When it comes to answering who God is to me in real-life terms, sometimes I stumble. I falter and fail. Sometimes I’m just not sure. After 60 years in church, it’s hard for me to come up with answers that aren’t taught in books written by theologians with far more degrees than me. Even though I’m a journalist and author, that can be my worst fault sometimes…I read too much and tend to take someone else’s opinion to heart without testing it against the Scriptures. That’s what I’m going to be working on this season. Discovering who God really is to me. On my journey. My daily walk.

  I challenge you today to really concentrate on who God is in your life. In your family. In your world. In your job, school, community. Test your thoughts against the Bible and not against friends, Sunday School teachers, church leaders, and family members. Then we can continue our journey through Lent toward the Resurrection of our Christ.

  Who, or what, is God to you?

  And for today my friends, this has been the gospel according to Jimmy


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