Today, I read this verse from Psalm 127: ‘Unless the Lord builds a house, the work of the builders is wasted. Unless the Lord protects a city, guarding it with sentries will do no good.’
To be fair, I’ve heard this message all my life: I am to spend a little time with Jesus every day (preferably guided by a book published by one of 8 popular Christian authors for my demographic). This idea seemed to be just another thing I had to do… another duty… another rule… another habit I somehow couldn’t conquer. I did not understand this to be about growth and freedom and a fulfilled life. What I’ve come to understand over the years is this: unless the Lord is building/leading/protecting, the stuff I do is a waste. When I am unconnected, the activity I produce is just that… activity. When I am not realigning myself to the way of Jesus on a regular basis, I slide very quickly into the Way of Kim. What’s that look like?
The Way of Kim is a magical land of anxiety, mental whirlwinds, and bitterness. It’s a place where no one can live up to expectations, there is worry aflutter about everything, and only the negative side of all things are recognized. Wheeeee….!! Doesn’t that sound glorious? Wouldn’t you like to spend more time in such a place?
I have been following Jesus for a long time. I cannot believe how I have to keep learning this lesson over and over. I cannot believe how slippery it seems to be to keep atop of this kind of discipline. The picture in my head is of me trying to stand on top of a big exercise ball… that has been greased. :) I don’t believe God created this to be this difficult; I think I have too often given myself over to human gravity, so that becomes the more familiar path. But staying connected to Jesus every day is seriously the whole ball game. It is what we have been created to do first, before any of our gifts and talents kick in. So today I read Psalm 127. And I read these words by Jean-Pierre Caussade: “If we have abandoned ourselves to God, there is only one rule for us: the duty of the present moment.”
I set out to remember that I am asked only to join in the work God is doing, not manufacture it. I am asked only to live my moments as a child of the Creator, not to map out every possible moment to come. And that is the best reality I–you– we–could encounter on any given day.