Last Thursday evening, a small group of women met in my home to begin a new short-term small group called, “Journaling Your Lifewalk with Christ.” We talked about why we write and how it benefits us. Luann Budd, author of Journal Keeping, Writing for Spiritual Growth, says that journaling for growth is one way that we can seek God, and He has told us again and again in the Bible that if we seek Him, we’ll find Him.
So here’s what we’re working on this week:
We’re looking for ways that God might speak to us and then writing about the experience. The focus is on but not limited to the 3 ways that have been called, “the three lights of revelation.” They are
1. God speaking through scripture
2. Holy Spirit speaking to you in your thoughts
3. Conversations with others leading you to some insight that God is trying to show you
Also, looking for the Lord in his creation and looking for him in the mundane or routine parts of life could be springboards, as well.
Here’s my swipe at the assignment.
When I leave my home for my daily walk, after I cross a busy street, walk about half a block and turn into a neighborhood whose streets are lined with large, old trees and sidewalks, I feel something change in me. I’ve left behind the tasks I’ve been working on, conversations with family, my chores, the routine of the day, and I find myself in an internally quiet place, listening in a deeper way than usual. Rambling thoughts subside, and I’m aware of something that I, like so many others, would describe as my source--of peace, of a different energy than that of frenetic moving around, and a consciousness of something holy.
It’s not that God isn’t with me in the busyness of life; I often sense his presence then and there as well, but this is different, a separating of myself from distractions to spend time with the one I love because he first loved me.
For about six months, God has been using the lyrics of the song, “Fill My Cup” by the Paul Colman trio to help me connect with Him.
“Fill my cup to the top/With running water/Call me out and show me how . . .”
I like that the thought is never completely finished; what is the seeker asking to be shown?
Sometimes I ask God to show me how to love the person who has hurt me that day. Sometimes I ask him to show me how to serve him better and be less selfish. I’ve asked him to show me how he wants me to spend my days and gifts so that I honor him.I've asked him to show me how I can know him better. I’ve cried out to him to show me how to forgive and forget hurtful moments in my past. In the times I've been really depressed, I've I asked him to show me how to just get through the day.
There is joy in knowing that he does indeed “call me out,” from rocky ground and tall weeds to a meadow with a stream of still waters running through it. My heart swells with gratitude and love that he would call me to come and spend time with him. After all, we're not equals; he is far above me and has everything to offer me. I'm like a child with nothing to offer but myself, and unbelievably, that’s just what he wants.
The verses of the song focus on feeling disconnected, depressed, on knowing you need to be healed but hanging on to what’s killing you for malformed reasons. It talks about not knowing how to really love, about going through the motions that believers do and still “feeling empty inside.” It’s a call for rescue, an S.O.S. from spirit to spirit.
But it ends with hope. The singer re-connects with God and finds healing because he repeats again and again, “I feel light/I could float right up to you/like a bridge that’s connecting the waters.”
I walk for an hour, if I can manage it. Sometimes I talk and listen, and sometimes I let the music express my prayers. When I look up at that blue sky with its clouds and hear “Holy is the Lord God Almighty/The earth is filled with his glory/The earth is filled with his glory . . . .” My heart is filled, too.
The Paul Colman Trio