Saturday, February 09, 2008

Memory verse - week 6

Come to Me all you who are weary and burdened and I will give you rest. Take My yoke upon you and learn from Me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For My yoke is easy and My burden is light.

- Matthew 11:28-30 NIV

(With apologies to the NIV translators for changing the personal pronouns for Jesus to begin with upper, vs. lower case.)

At the end of last week I wrote in my journal: Striving. That is the word that comes to me at the moment as a description of my writing life... striving to be read, striving to do well, striving to get established.

I'm tired of striving, Lord. I want to labor under Your light burden and easy yoke. Teach me how to get out from under this burden of striving.

striving: to make earnest effort; to engage in strife, contend, fight, vie, emulate.

emulate: to try to equal or surpass, to rival or vie with successfully.

vie: to strive for superiority, contend, compete as in a race.

I figured this would be a good verse to fill my mind with this week - a constant reminder that life in/with Christ is one of light burdens, peace, the opposite of striving.

Saturday, February 02, 2008

Memory verse - week 5

Your ears shall hear a word behind you saying, "This is the way, walk in it," whenever you turn to the right hand or whenever you turn to the left.

- Isaiah 30:21 NKJV

I'm always wanting guidance - wanting to know what the next step is before I take it. This verse is interesting in that it implies God guides from behind: "Your ears will hear a word behind you..." How does that work?

There are forks in the road. Do we go right or left? This verse seems to say we simply make a decision, take the steps and listen for the 'word behind us.' Seems like a good description of the life of faith.

I've experienced this. Sometimes I've taken on writing assignments for the simple fact that I've finished the last project and this one came along at just that time. There were no prophetic words, voices or holy thrills - not even a scripture verse to hang my hat on. Not uncommonly I'll question whether I've made the right decision, especially when the writing gets tough or the piece gets rejected. Later, much later sometimes, I'll get confirmation in some way that the project was a 'God thing' (it gets accepted, I get an email or note from someone saying it blessed them, it wins a prize, gets republished).

As far as I can see, this is the way we live the Christian life most of the time.

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